30% of Display Ads are invalid according to comScore's New Benchmark Metric

by Dan Verhaeghe | Research

comScore is calling this year the display advertising industry’s reality check as it begins to turn the corner in delivery the promise that digital advertising laid out some fifteen years ago.

The President of comScore Canada Brent Bernie showed a video that stipulated that the display advertising industry’s promise of the Internet being the most measurable and accurate thing had frayed after fifteen years as the impact of branding impressions have become increasingly difficult to measure. Bernie said in an interview that the industry was like a teenager who had some growing up to do.

As a result, comScore has uniquely come up with a “validated impression” technology to solve the problem that only counts impressions where 50% of the pixels have been seen for at least one second along with other key criteria like on target demographically and geographically.

In a Charter study conducted in the United States Bernie says that 30% of impressions were not “in view” in general meaning 50% of the pixels were not visible for at least one second. A number of other factors must be considered including whether the ads were seen in the incorrect geography or placed in content categorized as unsafe for the brand. A study of 18 campaigns showed that in-view advertising validation rates ranged from 55-93% with just a 69% average across the top 500 sites used in this United States based Charter program. The campaigns had 2 billion impressions that utilized 400,000 websites. 72% of campaigns had impressions served beside brand inappropriate content with 141,000 impressions via 980 sites. A small but important number of people saw these brands in these environments with 92,000 people viewing these inappropriate impressions.  

comScore has developed a “single tag” technology that will collect display ad data on all these areas from one source versus the several that are currently used.

As the way of the click subsides in some ways as people have trained themselves not to click on display and search ads for the most part, advertisers should be happy to know that comSCORE found that the average person was exposed to a display ad for 15.6 seconds. The display ad will only do better in terms of recall as Google’s Jesse Haines pointed out in a cross-media way across multiple screens.

The program is off and running in the United States but launched Thursday in Canada and it already has two advertisers on board and comScore expects to hear from more interested parties within the next two months with the official launch date set to be at the end of March.

Bernie says that all publishers, agencies and brands can benefit from the changes while he expects display advertising revenue to go up across the board as it becomes a more popular and trusted method for advertisers.

comScore wants the industry to consider their validated metrics to be the benchmark for display advertising as a whole.  

While there’s always the risk that revenue could go down especially in light of Acuity Ads and their successful reduction of cost for display advertisers through hundreds of thousands of demographical profiles, Bernie says there’s also room for innovation and creativity.

Not only are cross-media ideas emerging, but there are also other technologies to consider like 3D which has shown to improve advertising effectiveness by 15-20% according to Mr. 3D, James Stewart at Advertising Week Canada.

That’s just one example of many creative and innovative ideas to come in this particular industry now geared towards maximizing advertising effectiveness. 

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Dan Verhaeghe

Dan Verhaeghe

Dan Verhaeghe focuses on marketing, mobile, major technology players, entertainment, and new media. Dan has a dozen years of online experience that dates back to the turn of the millennium where he dominated a now non-existent online RPG game for a couple of years at the age of 15. He would eventually become a Toronto Blue Jays blogger who earned his way into Toronto's CP24 studios six years... more

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