Putting Science Behind the Standards
The concept of when an ad should be counted as “viewable,” what effects various levels of viewability have on users, and how to pay for these varying levels has been hotly debated. Integral Ad Science’s Q3 2015 report found that only 43% of ads are currently considered viewable according to the Media Ratings Council’s (MRC) viewability standards and, to date, these viewability levels have not been scientifically correlated with actual ad effectiveness measures. The IPG Media Lab partnered with Integral Ad Science and Cadreon to conduct a large scale scientific research study, meant to quantify the relationship between viewability and brand metrics. This research also investigates other optimization scenarios that could help elevate the impact of ads at lower levels of viewability. Although the study is not meant to rewrite existing standards, it serves as a guide to advertisers and publishers alike regarding how best to make ads more effective given viewability standards.
To fill in some of these blanks, we explored the following questions:
While the MRC standard is not a magical threshold for ad effectiveness, viewability is highly related to ad effectiveness. As viewability increases, so does consumer attention and ad recall.
Some ads that do not meet MRC standard requirements do have impact, and some that exceed standard requirements do not. Because the standards are two-dimensional (time and percent in view), different combinations of whether or not one or the other is above, at, or below the standard influences ad effectiveness.
Time in view is king. When it comes to moving the dial on ad effectiveness, the number of pixels in view is not the driving factor – how long consumers have to see the ad is
To raise the impact of your ads even when they are not fully viewable, there are effective tactics you can employ.