Viewability Just the Beginning of Ad Efficacy Conversation

March 15, 2016 | Share this article

A week ago, when Cadreon’s Erica Schmidt spoke at the Interactive Advertising Bureau programmatic event, I was interested in what she had to say on the science behind the Media Rating Council (MRC) viewability standards (available here).

The IPG Media Lab partnered with Integral Ad Science and Cadreon to conduct the study, which had the goal of quantifying the relationship between viewability and brand metrics. Why is that relationship important? Because, in an industry plagued by fraudulent impressions and bots, there’s a huge need for dialogue that furthers understanding on how to make the most of an investment.

Viewability, or the metric that counts ads that are viewed, can be mistaken for the be-all and end-all of advertising metrics. But viewability isn’t the end of the conversation about effective advertising; it’s the beginning. Once something is viewable, targeting and creative strategy can take center stage and lead to a conversion, lead generation, etc.

This comment from Sherrill Mane, SVP-research, analytics and measurement at the IAB, sums it up nicely. “Viewability does not guarantee that an ad will be looked at, or that an ad will be appealing, or have an impact or generate awareness or change brand perception,” Mane told AdExchanger last year.

The report from Cadreon echoes that sentiment, saying in its conclusion that the intention of the MRC standards was not to guarantee ad effectiveness, but to ensure ads have the opportunity to be seen. The report also noted that while the MRC standard is not a “magical threshold for ad effectiveness,” viewability is still highly related to ad effectiveness — after all, as viewability increases, so do consumer attention and ad recall.

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