Pulling Back the Curtain: Viewability & Direct Response

IPG Media Lab, the creative technology arm of FCB Media’s group partner IPG Mediabrands has presented the results of a yearlong and groundbreaking exploration into the importance of viewability in performance-focused direct response campaigns. The research has been performed in partnership with MAGNA, the intelligence, investment and innovation unit within IPG Mediabrands, Moat, part of Oracle Data Cloud, and The Trade Desk, Inc.

The resulting report, Pulling Back the Curtain: Viewability & Direct Response, uncovers the impact of viewability on digital conversions, how the MRC standard compares with alternatives, and how direct response focused advertisers should approach viewability when making buying and measurement decisions.

The report analyzed viewability and engagement measures in display campaigns across various industries including pharmaceutical, consumer electronics, consumer packaged goods and entertainment. A wide range of online conversions were captured, such as visiting an information page, signing up for a trial subscription and online sales.

Key Takeaways Include:

  • Both dimensions of viewability, ‘time in view’ and ‘percent on screen’, are strongly related to online conversions. That is, consumers who were exposed to ads with higher viewability were more likely to convert.
  • Non-viewable impressions can paint an inaccurate view of campaign performance. Furthermore, adding viewability data to attribution models more accurately attributes conversions.
  • Whether marketers use the MRC standard or some other alternative, performance metrics are similar — both the percentage of impressions deemed viewable and the number of conversions that take place.
  • Other metrics, such as ad interaction, are positively correlated with conversions. Specifically, we observed a direct relationship between consumers who interacted longer with ads during exposure and conversion rates. For example, the longer consumers interact with ads during exposure, the more likely they are to ultimately convert at some point.
  • One campaign showed a 97 percent increase in conversions among consumers who engaged with the ad for four seconds.
  • While in general, the more impressions that meet the MRC standard, the better, that isn’t always the case. Viewability is only one of many factors related to campaign success. Advertisers should balance the increased cost for optimizing on viewability with the increase in conversions they would likely gain.


Download the full report here.

Date: November 14, 2017