PA.O: Is the viewability concern something that a global brand needs to worry about? Wouldn’t the ads have more gravitas anyways because of the brand recognition?
Mike Driscoll: Marketers have latched onto the viewability bandwagon because its message is simple: we shouldn’t pay for ads that can’t be seen. This comes as a welcome contrast to the complexity that typically dominates in digital media.
Of course, the reality is never simple: viewability is not always measurable on a publisher, and when it is, it’s rarely a simple 0% or 100% metric. Just as banks use FICO scores to weigh the risk of a consumer loan, global brands should use viewability to weigh risk of their media investments across publishers. In finance, the highest-returning investments are not always the safest. Likewise, the most efficient media buys for brands are unlikely to be those with 100% viewability.
PA.O: What advice would you give to marketers evaluating a move into the video ad space in the wake of Kellogg’s choice?
Mike Driscoll: Treat viewability as a valuable input for predicting performance, but not an end in itself.
PA.O: What advice would you give the marketing practitioners bewildered by this announcement? Do you still feel video ads are viable?
Mike Driscoll: Digital video ads are not just viable, they will soon be the world’s dominant advertising channel. Kellogg’s and Google’s public tensions reflect a healthy jousting among two juggernauts on the supply and demand side of this new market.
Mike Driscoll founded Metamarkets in 2010 after spending more than a decade developing data analytics solutions for online retail, life sciences, digital media, insurance, and banking. Prior to Metamarkets, Mike successfully founded and sold two companies: Dataspora, a life science analytics company, and CustomInk, an early pioneer in customized apparel. He began his career as a software engineer for the Human Genome Project. Mike holds an A.B. in Government from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from Boston University.