Online advertising has been shown to be more effective the more viewable it is and the longer it stays on the screen. A recent study, “Pulling Back The Curtain: Viewability & Direct Response,” found that when consumers engaged with ads for four seconds, a 97 percent increase in conversion occurred.  One second of engagement is the industry’s accepted standard for online viewability.

The year-long study, designed to highlight the impact of viewability on digital conversions and how its findings compare against industry standards, was produced by MAGNA, the intelligence, investment and innovation unit within IPG Mediabrands, alongside Oracle’s Moat Analytics and independent demand-side platform The Trade Desk.

Both dimensions of viewability—time in view and percent on screen—are strongly related to online conversions; in other words, consumers who are exposed to ads with higher viewability are more likely to convert.

The research conducted by MAGNA and its partners focuses on online advertising, but data collected by PPAI points to promotional products’ own strength as an advertising medium with which consumers spend considerable time. The Association’s 2017 Consumer Study found that 81 percent of consumers keep products for more than one year, and that 50 percent of them are exposed to promotional products at all or most times of the day.

“While viewability is now considered table stakes in the industry, there are still many unanswered questions around how it should affect the way we buy and measure media,” says Kara Manatt, SVP, intelligence solutions strategy at MAGNA. “We were pleased to be able to dig so deep on the subject, particularly on the important role viewability plays in accurately understanding campaign performance.”
The study cautions that incomplete viewability measurements can paint an inaccurate picture of what happens in a campaign. With the inclusion of viewability data, attribution models become “smarter” and place less importance and credit on non-viewable impressions.

Jonah Goodhart, SVP of Oracle Data Cloud and co-founder of Moat, says, “We’ve long known that the concept of viewability—the opportunity to be seen—is the starting point for effective advertising. The in-depth research we did with MAGNA and recent research from Oracle Data Cloud and Facebook are helping us explore its impact. Viewability is the start of the conversation, but measures of attention, like interactions and time appear to relate even more closely to campaign performance. The better we understand the relationships between exposure and outcomes, the more equipped we can be as an industry to make smarter decisions about our media and creative investments.”

Although viewability is critical for understanding how effective direct response campaigns are, the research did not confirm a specific threshold of “in-view” impressions for which advertisers should aim in campaign planning. This is because viewability is not the only driver of campaign success.

“As consumers spend more time across screens, understanding the impact of viewability is even more crucial for campaign measurement and performance,” says Kathleen Comer, VP of client services at The Trade Desk. “Investing in understanding campaign viewability can help advertisers achieve a clearer picture of engagement and attribution.”