This is one of of those rare cartoons where I didn’t have to exaggerate anything to make a situation sound ridiculous.
The digital ad world has been is a state of disarray since Google shared the results of a study 18 months ago that a whopping 56.1% of display ad impressions are not even seen. And the criteria for whether an ad is officially considered “viewable” by the IAB is a pretty low bar: at least 50% of the ad pixels on screen for at least a second.
Brands that historically have been paying for “ads served” rather than “ads viewed” are naturally pushing to change the industry. Why would they pay for an ad impression that is technically never even on screen?
And even if an ad is technically viewable, of course, that doesn’t mean anyone actually paid attention to it. “Viewability” is just a measure of whether the ad had a chance to be seen, not whether it actually broke through the clutter. There’s also a big problem of fraudulent ad inventory. And the fact that 99.8% of viewable ads are never clicked.
Marketers have never had better access to data reach consumers in more targeted ways that never before. But the digital advertising ecosystem is still in its adolescence.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how brands should navigate it.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed cartoon print. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)