Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When Is An Impression Not An Impression?

In online advertising today, an impression is consider an impression if more than half the ad is visible for at least one second.

Less than a second?  Not an impression.

Less than half the ad visible?  Not an impression.

That’s how the online ad industry determines whether an impression is, or is not, an impression.  This definition was determined because of money.  Advertisers didn't want to keep paying media dollars for impressions if the commercial was not actually seen.

Can't blame 'em.

But why stop there?  Instead of just asking when is an impression not an impression, why aren’t advertisers now asking when does an impression become an engagement?

After all, isn’t engaging the viewer more important than just exposing the viewer to the ad?

We now know that one-second constitutes an exposure that advertisers can be charged for.  Unfortunately, they still get charged for all thirty seconds, even if one second is all the viewer sees.

The question is, what length of time constitutes an engagement?  Two seconds?  All thirty?  That’s where it gets interesting, doesn’t it?  

The more engaged the viewer, the greater the chance of being persuaded by the ad.  Every advertiser agrees with that.

And, every advertiser gets charged by their agencies for creating thirty seconds.   If only fifteen of those seconds engage the viewer, shouldn’t the advertiser only have to pay for those fifteen?

Why pay their agencies for what isn’t engaging?  Aren't they the ones who created the ad?

Advertisers were right to want to stop paying media dollars for exposures that weren’t impressions.

So why are they still paying production dollars for commercials that aren’t engaging?

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