Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Did AdKeeper Fail The Industry? Or, Did The Industry Fail AdKeeper?

Let me say right up front that I was a big supporter of AdKeeper when it launched a few years ago.  To me it made sense.

It still does.

That it failed spectacularly (Ad Age’s words) is something that can’t be argued.  But my question is, was it the product’s fault?  Or, the ad industry’s?

Adkeeper, as you may remember, was a new metric for the ad business.  It offered a chance for consumers to “keep” ads of interest to watch later when they had more time.  In effect, it was the “keep” replacing something that everyone knew didn’t work – the “click”.

According to Ad Age, “Today, with the benefit of hindsight, the idea that consumers would want to keep ads and revisit them later seems laughable.”


Say you’re in the market for an Audi A7.  If you see an ad for an Audi A7, wouldn’t that be of interest to you?  Of enough interest to make you want to keep the commercial and watch it later?

You would assume so, wouldn’t you?

So what went wrong?

According to Ad Age, while advertisers and the press were sold on the AdKeeper idea, media agencies and consumers were not.

Let’s start with the consumers, which means starting with the ads themselves.  This was a new metric that measured the consumer’s desire to keep ads.  Of course, this would require a new type of ad, one actually desirable of being kept. 

Were the new ads designed for Adkeeper a new type of ad?  My bet would be no.

As for the media agencies, they were never really on board in the first place. 

Why do you think that was?  

Simply because to them, AdKeeper could only prove how ineffective advertising is.  Not how well advertising could work. 

In other words, the upside was negligible.

What were the actual results? 

In AdKeeper’s one year of existence, around 1 million ads were kept.  Sounds like a lot?  But it’s not when you consider that trillions of ads are served each year.

And, in my opinion, that’s where the industry let AdKeeper down.  They judged its success based on how many versus how long.

The digital marketplace is not about size (how many).  It’s about time (how long).  Scale comes from how long people spend with the brand – sixty seconds, ninety seconds, two minutes – not how many are exposed to the brand.

Digital success is about depth.  Not breadth.

Upon AdKeeper’s demise, one CMO put it this way.  “In the end, that theoretical hypothesis that we had, that people really want to find the time to watch good ads on their extra time, that was potentially too theoretical.  In fact, it didn’t exist.”


How does this CMO thinks search works?

The big mistake the ad industry made was in not understanding that AdKeeper was a form of search.

Not of reach. 

Its purpose was depth.  Not breadth.

It failed, yes, if measured by the standards currently used to measure advertising success.

But this was a new metric.  It required new standards.

The ad industry wouldn’t allow this.

And that’s how they failed AdKeeper.

1 comment:

  1. Let me say right up front that I was a big supporter of AdKeeper when it launched a few years ago. To me it made sense. domain extensions