Survey: Video Ad “Viewability” Doesn’t Ensure Brand Or Product Recognition

75 percent of viewers need at least 3 seconds to recognize the brand or product being advertised.


A recent survey shows that just 25 percent of people were able to identify the brand or product being advertised in online video ads within the first one to two seconds, which is the Media Rating Council standard for an online video ad impression to qualify as viewable.

To be precise, just 50 percent of the pixels must be in view for at least two seconds for a video ad impression to be deemed viewable. Three-quarters of the 654 respondents in the survey, conducted by media buying technology firm Strata, needed at least three seconds to determine the brand or product in online video ads. For 44 percent, it took at least four seconds to identify the brand or product being advertised.

Strata says the survey shows that the definition of an online video ad view is insufficient for ensuring consumers have time to recognize the brand or product being advertised.

“The challenge of measuring viewability across different vendors and multiple screens is an on-going challenge, but an agreed upon standard across the industry will help determine ROI and ad effectiveness over time.” said Joy Baer, president of Strata in a statement.

The MRC standards for viewability both in display (which says 50 percent of an ad’s pixels must be in view for at least one second) were not meant to solve the problem of brand or product recognition, of course. The viewability initiative is meant to solve the problem that 56 percent of the display impressions and half of video ad impressions that advertisers are paying for on an impression served basis are never seen at all, according to two Google studies.

It’s up to marketers and creative departments to grab attention long enough for viewers to grasp what’s being advertised. Asked how video advertisers could do that, one-third of respondents in the Strata survey said they would choose to watch an ad if it was targeted to their interests. Over half rated humor and 45 percent listed entertainment as the best ways to capture and keep their attention.

About The Author

As Third Door Media’s paid media reporter, Ginny Marvin writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies and can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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