Are Your Digital Ads Viewable – or Just ‘Seen’?

At Issue:

More data is com­ing out every day that sug­gests rough­ly half – or more pre­cise­ly – 54 per­cent  of dig­i­tal ads aren’t even view­able; that is, they are falling below the fold impres­sions of the ad pre­sen­ta­tion, and are most­ly invis­i­ble to the read­er.

Are your dig­i­tal ads actu­al­ly being read by your cus­tomers?

The Back­sto­ry:

Ad impres­sions that are above the fold are view­able 49% of the time. Below-the-fold impres­sions become view­able just 30% of the time.

High­light­ing the dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing industry’s trans­paren­cy con­cerns is the data that mar­keters don’t know whether or not a full 40% of their view­able ads were placed above or below the fold. The fact that mar­keters don’t know where near­ly half of their view­able ads are ini­tial­ly placed is impor­tant because viewa­bil­i­ty met­rics are often one bench­mark of suc­cess for a cam­paign. The data comes from Infec­tious Media, a com­pa­ny found­ed in 2008 that spe­cial­izes in real-time adver­tis­ing.

Are You Los­ing Valu­able Ad Spend?

  • Sticky, a com­pa­ny with soft­ware that uses web­cams to track users’ eye move­ments to ver­i­fy whether or not online ads are actu­al­ly seen, has released data which sup­ports the argu­ment that viewa­bil­i­ty does not equal being seen.
  • “Viewa­bil­i­ty” describes whether or not an ad could be seen on a page with­out need­ing to scroll down, “X” out of some­thing, change tabs, etc. While viewa­bil­i­ty met­rics would sug­gest that close to 50% of ads are seen, Sticky’s data says it’s actu­al­ly just 14%.

Jeff Ban­der, Sticky’s pres­i­dent and chief change agent, hopes Sticky’s tech­nol­o­gy will help boost the num­ber of ads that are actu­al­ly seen. As pub­lish­ers get more of this type of data and start to take advan­tage of it, Ban­der hopes it will bring more brand dol­lars online.

“About 94% of brand­ing dol­lars are offline,” he said. “Habit is a lot of that, but stud­ies say CMOs are ask­ing what it would take to move more dol­lars online.” He added, “Brand lift and pur­chase intent [num­bers] are always high­er when more peo­ple see the ad and look at it longer. Those two mea­sure­ments — of per­cent seen and time — have a direct cor­re­la­tion to brand lift, which is the main rea­son peo­ple are adver­tis­ing brands online.”

What Can Deal­er­ships Do to See if Their Ads are Being Read?

  • Take a clos­er look at this info­graph­ic on viewa­bil­i­ty.
  • There are some com­pa­nies that track the dif­fer­ence between “view­able” and “seen”. You might want to check them out online.


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