Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How Much Time Are Viewers Spending With Your Online Commercials?

Maybe a better question is does it matter?

If your answer is yes, then what are you doing about it?

You know how many impressions your $5 million dollar media buy purchased for you. Do you know how much viewer involvement you were able to secure for that same $5 million?

Or, doesn’t the length of an impression really make any difference? According to media agencies, not really.

Recently, a VP at the industry’s largest media agency had this to say about involvement/engagement with a message. “There’s a consensus that engagement is going to be how we hold online advertising accountable from now on, but we’re still grappling with how to tie it back to real business results. Like how many ‘engagements’ does it take to drive purchase intent?”

How many?

How many is such analog thinking. Advertising has shifted into the 3rd dimension. Reach and frequency—how many and how often—have served their purpose.

How long—the 3rd dimension—is what digital advertising has evolved to.

A thirty-second spot, in which 300,000 viewers each watch only ten seconds, isn’t as valuable to the advertiser as a thirty-second spot in which 300,000 viewers watch all thirty seconds.

In the first example, the media buy delivered the advertiser three million seconds (34.72 days) of involvement with their brand.

In the second example, the same media buy delivered nine million seconds (104.17 days) of involvement with their brand.

Difference in media costs for an additional 70 days of involvement with the brand?


Is more involvement with the brand better than less involvement with the brand?

Most would argue yes. Unless, of course, you’re arguing with your media agency.

Right now, they get paid for delivering the message. Period. Whether anyone pays any attention to the message or not reflects little on their fee.

And, the last thing they want is for this fee arrangement to change.

But, the fact is, a commercial’s ability to hold an audience is now measurable. It’s called depth.

Which means shallow advertising will no longer work.

And, I'm afraid to say, the same goes for the arguments put forth by most media agencies.

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