Saturday, May 24, 2014

Impressions Versus Involvement

Recently, a national advertiser ran a four-week, video ad campaign on YouTube incorporating YouTube’s skippable ad feature.

In total, this advertiser received 827,120 views. 

Viewers had the option of skipping the commercial after five seconds.  Here’s the breakdown as to how long people watched for.

100% of the commercial:     26%
75% of the commercial:       12%
50% of the commercial:       11%
25% of the commercial:       29%
Skipping after 5 seconds:     22%   

With YouTube’s CPV (cost-per-view) pricing model, the advertiser is only charged for full views.  Other online platforms charge based on impressions.  Which means they would have charged for all 827,120 views, even though 51% of the viewers watched less than three-quarters of the commercial.

Is it right to demand that platform providers charge for a viewer’s involvement rather than just an impression – the chance for a commercial to be exposed to the viewer?

I don’t think so.

What platform providers are accountable for is creating the content that attracts an audience that a commercial can be exposed to.

Platform providers are accountable for exposure to not involvement in.

So, who’s accountable for involvement?

Whomever came up with the creative.

In the above example, the average view duration was around 25%.  What if the cost of creating the commercial was based on a sliding scale?  The longer people watch for, the more the creative agency would make.

In this example, the agency would not have made very much money.  But then, they shouldn’t have, should they?  Their commercial did not involve the viewer.

What’s ironic to me is that today, advertisers know how much of their commercials are being watched.  Yet they don’t hold anyone accountable for failure.  Agencies continue to make a bucket-load of money whether they involve the viewer or not.


Why aren’t the good agencies rewarded and the bad agencies held accountable?

Or to put it another way, why does failure continue to be lucrative?

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