Written by Alastair Grant, Product Owner
Looking beyond standardised metrics
For a long time, the go-to proof that a brand reached a member of its audience with a digital video ad placement was very basic. Either the confirmation that a video ad was played to its conclusion or a 2 second-short check whether the ad was at least partially visible were widely considered the appropriate measure of ad effectiveness. Since its inception, video ad technology has come a long way.
In December of last year, the IAB released a new interface standard for desktop and mobile video players – Open Measurement for Web Video. From now on, leading ad verification providers, like Meetrics, are able to measure ad signals without the need of a server-to-server integration or interfering with video ad playback. Advertisers are catching on. Many brands begin to rethink the verification of their video campaigns and are building new metrics specific to how they want to measure the effectiveness of their ads.
In this article, I’m discussing the most important building blocks of a multi-parameter viewability definition. In March 2012, VAST 2.0 standardised the implementation of quartile measurements. This functionality allows advertisers to insert counter pixels at regular intervals from the start to the end of playback. The View-Through, or Video Completion, Rate offers only superficial insight into the effectiveness of the placements. Hence, the display viewability standard was adapted for video advertising and 50% of a still image for 1 second became 50%/2s for video placements.
The cumulative duration of 2 seconds can occur at the start or distributed across the entire ad placement. This viewability definition sacrifices comparability for applicability. 50% for two seconds is a good-enough measure for any video ad to have had an effect. It can be applied to ads of any length but doesn’t differentiate between a 5s or a 30s creative. From benchmarking our viewability measurements, we found that view-time comparisons are only applicable to video ads of similar ad lengths. A deeper look at different time-on-screen classes helps advertisers to develop a feel for how the viewability of some placements develops over time.
The standards created several years ago are based on absolute view-times. As innovation progressed, we made it possible to measure the time-on-screen relative to the length of the video ad. An example of such a duration-weighted or percent-based viewability rate would be 50%/75% which refers to 50% of the video played for 75% of the ad duration. Now, video ads of various lengths can be verified with an equal demand for quality. Comparing relative times-on-screen can reveal patterns of user behaviour or advertising practices of publishers such as refreshing ad placements mid-session.
Another important component of video advertising is the messaging conveyed via the audio track. A muted or malfunctioning video player may lessen any potential ad effect. We offer the ability to include audibility checks as a verification criterion.
With our help, advertisers can combine these measurements into comprehensive reports specific to their campaigns. So, they may determine the most relevant KPIs for their brand advertising. It’s possible to expand on the MRC-accredited viewability definition with additional metrics, such as audibility and quartile viewability for ad completion. Such a metric would be described as 50%/2s AVOC (audible, viewable on completion). Others could make use of a relative view-time condition or require the full player to be visible at all times throughout the video ad. These state-of-the-art multi-parameter viewability definitions allow you to accurately record when your video adverts reached their fullest effect.
If you’re planning to take your insights beyond standardised metrics but are unsure which requirements are best to focus on, why not start a test today? As part of our consultation, clients can run side-by-side analyses of various metrics. Large drops between viewability rates make it easy to spot the weak points of particular formats. If an AVOC-defined viewability is significantly lower than one without an audio component, brands may adjust their video advertising strategy. So that audio-dependent placements aren’t wasted.
To learn more about custom metrics that match your brand advertising, contact us today.