Some consultants are brushing off a new report claiming that 46 percent of online video ads go unseen.
The campaign industry has been struggling with the dichotomy of an expanding digital ad marketplace, which promises greater targeting but risks money being wasted on fraudulent views from bots or automatic plays in unseen corners of a browser.
But a new Google report about the web’s average video ad viewability being 54 percent doesn’t mean that candidates should start beefing up their print advertising budgets, according to Casey Phillips, co-founder of RedPrint Strategy.
"No doubt digital advertising is still evolving but 75 percent of voters are set to have a smartphone by June of 2016,” Phillips said. “So I'm a lot more worried about creating compelling content and learning about new ways of delivering it to them more than I am about the inefficiencies that undoubtedly will be worked out over time.”
According to Ad Age: “Nearly half — 46% — of the video ads running across the desktop and mobile web never had a chance to be seen, according to Google. That figure is based on the video ads the search giant has served across the web, but doesn't include YouTube. Not surprisingly, the numbers play out much better for its own service.”
Ads playing on YouTube sites and mobile apps, said parent-company Google, get a 91 percent viewability rate. But Andrew Eldredge-Martin, a senior media director at Precision Network, warns that views aren’t the only metric worth looking at.
“Campaigns should remember that viewability, while important, is ultimately only a proxy metric for the real goals of ad campaigns: increased favorability, sentiment shift or intent to vote,” he said.
Campaigns can increase the chances of their ads being viewed by their targeted audience if they go through reputable publishers and diligently monitor the metrics.
“You have to be watching and you have to have a really good partnership with your vendors,” Shannon Chatlos, a vice president at Strategic Partners & Media, said recently. “When we catch ad fraud ourselves, we’ll see a crazy amount of impressions on a site.”