Welcome to the new normal. Welcome to View Quality.

The Drum 12 Aug 2020 08:14
By sergio tallon-12 August 2020 09:14am

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In 2011, at the digital agency I worked for in London, we did a quick estimation and found that we had bought around 3%-5% of the total digital advertising inventory (display) existing in the Top 5 markets of the EU in a given quarter. 3% to 5% for a single brand is a lot of SOV, in case you’re wondering.

That agency, which I know still remains among the best in the business, was working for the most sophisticated and forward thinking client in the world; At least at that time. Every penny we invested in Online Display or Video advertising was thoroughly scrutinized by people on the client side who asked really sharp and driven questions.

Despite having a great bunch of people working really hard and acknowledging we were wasting resources, I don’t think we had still realized the problem with “served ad units” and “viewed ad units”; nor had the industry. But at some point around then, we all started to realize that “served” vs “viewed” was an issue worth to be considered. Soon after (late 2014?), the industry took on the case and placed a number of guidelines to homogenize and define what viewability was, so brands, publishers and agencies could finally speak the same language. The agreement was that if 50% of the pixels were exposed during more than 2 seconds, the ad was considered as viewed.

One of the problems had been tackled, and I won’t go into detail about fake traffic here or other topics that have affected our business since then, but for viewability we finally had something to aim for as an industry. So everyone involved went on to enhance the standards and to be more accountable for the digital ads we bought. The improvement was important and greatly pushed forward from clients and brands.

Anyone can sell or buy viewability these days, and if we agree that 50% of the pixels during 2 seconds is ad money well spent, we could still challenge many other things, like if the person on the other side of the screen has actually noticed the ad or not.

MetrixLab has recently released a powerful piece of content stating the importance of these variables, and how they enhance each other to make more sense of the digital advertising dollars we manage for our clients. The research company has applied eye-tracking technology to understand every placement, content and ad units on a website.

Environment, viewability and attention are now controllable key elements that can make a big difference and we need to maximize them onwards. We’ve come a long way in the last 5 years, and today our business has every bit of information to ensure the journey ahead of brands, publishers and users sharing the same car, is fair and pleasant to all of them, and takes them to their destination in the best way possible.

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