Effectiveness: It Starts with Viewability

The problem of viewability is an important one, but it’s only a first step in delivering ad campaigns that brands find effective. Effectiveness is what brands are measuring now. As a company that’s been on the bleeding edge of this issue for two years, we were glad to see more publishers understand that their inventory had to be at least viewable to command premium pricing, and more advertisers become educated on how to make their campaigns yield better results through more than just viewability.

Once the MRC allowed advertising to be bought on the basis of viewability, the field of potential viewability auditors expanded immediately, and things got — if anything — more confusing. While we have created and tested our own formats, we have also used several viewability audit vendors. Some do not measure video, while others do not excel at mobile. Both are important for our publishers and advertisers, who want to measure effectiveness — a metric beyond just visibility. It will be a while before all this settles out.

We recently partnered with MOAT, the software analytics company, to test our mobile and video formats for both viewability and effectiveness. Effectiveness is what an ad that delivers real results possesses. Effectiveness is what advertisers want. In display this used to be called click-through-rates (CTRs), but now it has other names.

MOAT calls this “capturing attention,” because that’s what brands want to do when they advertise.  Viewability is only one part of that equation, in fact, it’s the baseline, the de minimus requirement for an ad..  Effectiveness is what brands really want from their ads. And for that, brands have to capture attention.

So big brands are measuring not only viewability, but who sees their ads, how, and in what context. Was the ad delivered in the right geography? And if it was viewable, was it viewed by a bot, or by a human? This has become another increasing concern. For advertisers, inventory isn’t space on a page, it is a set of eyeballs, a combination of good quality creative positioning combined with the right audience, and the right context.

Viewability measurement began in the display space, well before the MRC said it was a currency. But it was still necessary to test more than sheer visibility. Kellogg began running numbers on its campaigns last year. If a campaign  was at least 50% in view, what was its effectiveness? They found that if you could get up to 75% in view, you could have a 68% more effective campaign.

Video’s potential  can drive volume way in excess of display. Large CPG firms like Kellogg are very well aware of the KPI’s for their campaigns; and programmatic allows for the real-time optimization of campaigns. Now a marketer can monitor a campaign,  go in and change what’s not working.

Applying viewability for video gives you better metrics than before for the success of video ads, but it just doesn’t give you everything. You want to know more than just completion rates; you want to know whether the audio and video were still on at completion. Some domains have high completion rates, but the video isn’t visible on completion even if it’s playing. It’s called the “audible-visible” metric.



ZEDO Advertising Technology Updates – July 2014

ZEDO’s first showcase app “ZEDO PLAY” is now live on the Google Play Store (the iOS version will be out shortly too).

ZEDOPLAY’s initial release brings to you all our in-app offerings with standard ad units, rich media MRAID units (from prominent 3rd parties like Celtra, Crisp etc.), fullscreen & popup interstitials, custom placements and in-stream video ads with many new formats in the pipeline. ZEDOPLAY uses our new API-based SDKs. The initial feedback and benchmarks not only suggests that the new SDK performs and looks fantastic, but also leaves the competition behind by a fair margin.

You can download the app on your Android devices directly here -

Responsive Ads

Enable you to reposition and swap ads in real-time as per the user’s screen size. You will have to define the screen size break points and ad dimensions that need to be loaded.

Downloadable VAST Videos

We have added support to download the video files uploaded and transcoded from the “VAST compatible” create ad template.

IAB Mobile Rising Star – PULL

ZEDO now supports the IAB Mobile Rising Star – Pull format. It is a two component ad unit which appears as a standard banner but on user interaction slides vertically over the publisher’s content into a full screen ad. It offers audio-visual interaction and other rich media experiences. The sliding effect calls for longer attention span and greater engagement.

ZEDO PLAY App Shows Large Repertoire of Mobile Ad Offerings

zedoPlayScreenOne of the problems for both our publisher partners and the ZINC team that presents our mobile formats to agencies is the awkwardness of making a potential ad buyer or publisher visit the web to see demos of what we have available. And now that everyone’s using mobile devices, both in the industry and in “real life,”  we thought we should make our demos available in easy-to-see real life situations.

Thus, ZEDO’s first showcase app “ZEDO PLAY” is now live on the Google Play Store, with the  iOS version will be out shortly too. You can download the app on your Android phone directly here. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zedo.zedoplayandroid.   It will appeal to media buyers and publishers who want to see how our mobile ad units will look on the mobile devices of consumers.

ZEDO PLAY’s initial release brings to agencies and publishers a view of all our in-app offerings:  standard ad units, rich media MRAID units (from prominent 3rd parties like Celtra, Crisp etc.), fullscreen & popup interstitials, custom placements and very soon, in-stream video ads, with many more new formats also in the pipeline. ZEDO PLAY uses our new API based SDKs.

Initial feedback and benchmarks not only suggest that the new SDK performs very well and looks fantastic, but also leaves our competition behind by a fair margin. Kudos to the teams that have been involved in bringing this form to life.

We’ve been observing/studying many others in our business who have gone on to create feature-rich SDKs, but have never quite been able to demonstrate what their ad units were really capable of. With ZEDO PLAY, we intend to push forth and showcase the best of our capabilities, deep linking with our publishers and potential customers for a long time to come. And this is just the start.

ZEDO PLAY (and our SDK) have been designed with a core focus on performance while maintaining a simplistic yet definitive appeal. We’ve tinkered with the best of design principles from Google and Apple and incorporated them into the app, which you will get to experience as you play with it. The core fundamental here has been to GO CONSUMER FIRST i.e. “If you and I (as users) find it appealing, our customers will too.” Let’s continue to grow our business.

We’d  love to hear your feedback, both by email and also on the Play Store with ratings and comments.

Stay tuned for more updates from the team. For the moment though, jump right on to the store and check the app out.

Programmatic isn’t a Synonym for Low CPMs

Are small publishers having difficulty keeping their CPMs stable with programmatic? According to Brian Fitzgerald of Evolve Media they are:

The overall marketplace has been putting pressure on brands to move into indirect programmatic channels at lower CPMs. Smaller sites have really been feeling the pinch. There’s a shrinking pool of people viewing ad inventory on PCs. Audiences are moving to mobile and publishers have to deal with less real estate for ad space. It’s only going to get worse. Now we have more issues of non-human traffic and non-viewable inventory.

We believe this doesn’t have to be the case. Because Evolve Media is rolling up small publishers, offering  them economies of scale, it’s in their interest to think that CPMs will be lower with programmatic.  Actually, things are much more nuanced, and changing every day as ads become more mobile and video ads become more common. Yes, brands are moving into programmatic. Yes, customers are moving to mobile, and the screens are indeed smaller. But that doesn’t mean advances like mobile video ads and high impact formats don’t take up the slack left by the abandonment by consumers of their PCs.

For one thing, people outside the industry are still confusing programmatic with real time bidding (RTB). They’re not the same. RTB is an auction, while programmatic is simply an automated work flow process. So there’s no real reason why programmatic itself would lower CPMs, unless your only use of programmatic is assigning your remnant inventory to RTB exchanges.

Our publishers, on the other hand, receive opportunities to offer  ZEDO’s high impact formats, display and video ads that are polite, unobtrusive, and engaging — but at the same time 99% viewable with measureably  higher CTRs. Our ZINC division sells premium brands and agencies campaigns that run on a premium publisher network that is growing daily.

For another, what Evolve calls “economies of scale” is really the ability to present a brand to a single market segment at scale — in this case either men’s or women’s lifestyles, since that’s what all their aggregated sites present. So it’s  a matter of better targeting. And that can be done with combinations of large and small publishers.

More precise targeting always produces higher CPMs for a publisher, which is why niche magazines and sites are not suffering the way many general publishers are. Local publishers are also faring better under programmatic, because in many cases brands want to pinpoint customer locations on mobile.

A combination of good targeting and engaging high impact formats can help a publisher of any size command the CPMs it wants.





Mobile is Changing the Creative Process, As Well As the Product

You may have been away on vacation this summer, but advertising hasn’t stood still in your absence.  The market will increase 5.3% this year to $180 billion, one of the biggest increases in a decade. This is good news for an industry that struggled during the Great Recession.  And a great deal of that growth is in mobile.

New York-based eMarketer predicts mobile will account for 9.8 percent of the total United States ads marketplace this year, surpassing newspapers (9.3 percent), magazines (8.4 percent) and radio (8.6 percent). Brands are spending 83 percent more on ads on phones and tablets compared to 2013, allowing the larger digital category to account for 30 percent of the advertising marketplace, per the research company.

What does that mean to the creative class that makes those ads? Well, first it means that they have to get over the habit of sitting down with  pens and paper to do their jobs. According to May 2014 polling by Edelman Berland for Adobe, 74% of US creative professionals said that mobile was changing the face of creativity and design.  However,mobile is not only changing the creative product, but it is actually changing the process. Younger creatives are themselves part of the shift to mobile, and there are some things they really like about where the creative process is going.

They generally like the fact that mobile allows them to capture inspiration on the fly, and create content anywhere. They can also use their mobile devices to collaborate, and as a place to store their digital portfolios. 30% of them use mobile to present their concepts.

But they hate the fragmentation of output media (the need for responsive design), which they admit makes their jobs more challenging.

As far as product: 30% of the creatives surveyed produce mobile ads, while the other 2/3 produce mobile web sites and apps. Nearly nine in 10 respondents (87%) believed that mobile content was having a positive effect on creative, with just 8% saying it had a negative impact, suggesting that mobile usage is facing an even brighter future in the industry.

No one that we know has yet surveyed creatives on the challenges of creating for the mobile phone, which is the largest mobile segment and the most difficult because it’s the newest.



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