Tuesday, March 27, 2012

comScore releases first study of digital display advertising performance based on its vCE model

Digital marketing intelligence company comScore has released a whitepaper based on a new study that attempts to examine digital display ad delivery and validation. The study is part of comScore's efforts to establish its own measurement criteria called validated Campaign Essentials (vCE).

In comScore's own words, vCE validates whether or not impressions delivered as part of a campaign were in-view, delivered in the right geography, seen in brand safe environments, and absent of fraud.

The study finds that 30 percent of the ads looked at were "not in-view", meaning were placed below the first web page (below the fold, so to speak). This varied widely from site to site.

Those ads that had "very basic demo targeting objectives" performed well in the study, though as more demographic variables were added to a campaign the performance level decreased with only 36 percent of all impressions achieved delivered to an audience that match the desired profile.

Keeping ads away from objectionable environments proved difficult, with 72 percent of ads getting some impressions from areas where "objectionable content" resided. According to comScore, while this did not mean that there was a large number of impressions derived from sites that housed inappropriate content, 92,000 web viewers were exposed to ad impressions in these areas.

comScores says in its study that "fraud is an undeniably large and growing problem in digital advertising. The results showed that an average of 0.16% of impressions across all campaigns was delivered to non-human agents from the IAB spiders & bots list."

In conclusion, comScore says that "there was little to no correlation between CPM and value being delivered to the advertiser" and that ads with very good in-view rates did not necessarily have a higher CPM than those placed in low in-view locations.

"In other words, neither ad visibility nor the demographic target delivery is currently reflected in the economics of digital advertising," comScore concluded.

Ad campaigns looked at in the comScore study included those from General Mills, Kellogg's, Ford, Sprint, Kraft Foods, Kimberly-Clark, Allstate, E*Trade, Discover, HTC, and Chrysler. Eighteen campaigns were studied that resulted in 1.8 billion impressions on 380,898 site domains.

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