August 13, 2014

Visible Stuff More Noticeable Than Invisible Stuff

Here at the Over-Served Lounge on the campus of The Ad Contrarian Global Headquarters, we all agree that this is a truly amazing time to be in the advertising business.

An example: In the remarkable land of online advertising, there is apparently some controversy over whether ads that can be seen are more effective than ads that can't be seen.

We first reported on this raging storm last winter, here and here.

Well, Media Post reports that there was a definitive study released this week that proves once and for all that visible ads are more effective than invisible ones. Thank goodness that's been settled.

The reason this is important to the prodigies in the online ad business is that according to The Wall Street Journal and other sources, as many as 54% of all online ads are not visible. By the way, the online ad crowd doesn't use the word "visible." They say "viewable" because, as with everything related to online advertising, the more imprecise and confusing you can make things the better off you are.

The headline of one of the most astounding articles you'll ever read says, "Viewability Drives Awareness, Recall, Intent, TubeMogul Study Shows."

And the lead informs us that...
"Viewability matters when it comes to digital advertising -- if ads are more likely to be seen, they are more likely to be effective..."
No fucking shit? 

But wait...there's more. Apparently, the study also concluded that viewability can increase purchase intent, and product awareness, and message recall.

I'm just do you measure "message recall" for ads that are not viewable? I think it would be a fantastic breakthrough if the ad industry could come up with a way to calculate the memorability of stuff that isn't there. It would be like measuring the IQ of people with no brains... if you get my drift.

TubeMogul, the problematic programmatic video ad platform company that conducted this brilliant research, based it on over one million streamed video ads. I think most of us could have surveyed a salami sandwich and reached a similar conclusion.

According to BoobMogul TubeMogul,
“Video’s inherent purpose is to drive upper-funnel activity... If a marketer’s goal is focused around increasing lift in one of these three areas, viewability should definitely be one of the primary KPIs.”
If you don't understand what that horseshit means, don't worry. It's just the way nitwits say,"visible stuff is more noticeable than invisible stuff."

PS: I got your "upper-funnel activity" right here.


Jerome said...

Nice one....Thanks for sharing this....

johndodds said...

They're clearly in need of a colonic funnel.

restreitinho said...

Wondering if one could argue the same around native advertising (i.e. advertising that by blurring in is by definition invisible).

Cecil B. DeMille said...

That naked dude that just ran by? That's the emperor of advertising.

bob hoffman said...


TC said...

And, I'm afraid, much of that horse shit is spread by people who actually make a pretty good living out of it.

I'm still amazed by the fact that so few clients simply don't want to hear the truth.

However. I totally believe it is possible to create success brands online.
Albeit not easy. At the same time I do think that online ADVERTISING is mostly useless.

One recent success story is Warby Parker. But they did something smart. They filled a void. And thus they got a lot of online and offline PR, for free. (And now they have brick and mortar stores too.)

I don't think they advertised online. Never saw an ad from them although I should be in the target group and even looked at their site fairly often. Big data misses little me.

In other countries online advertising may work a tad better than in the US. Partly because of bigger pods available. Anyway, these are two separate tracks. Thank you for telling it as it is. Love your blog. Yours getting out of your agency did good stuff to your tongue.

Mark Hill said...

I didn't know this had been posted. I don't remember what it's about. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I actually saw that blog.

Tim said...

Crap! I just managed to get my head around the concept of a 'deck' and now I have to wrestle with 'upper-funnel.'

Matt Lashley said...

Oh, I dunno. On the sliding scale of bureaucratic gobbledygook, "viewable" is kinda lame.

I expect clients would be more impressed by a phrase like " ocularly apprehensible in the observable dimension". Now that's a phrase worthy of a modern agency tag line and trademark.

Ju said...

the sad thing is that I know for sure that if I followed the 13 tips it would work! (I can see my boss' face "yes! you go girl! that's what I meant!). hahahahahahaha!

Rob said...

I have several pet peeves:

* people who make statements that sound more like they're asking a question ("and then we saw that new movie? And it was so awesome?")
* people who talk in jargon all the time on the job ("upper funnel primary KPI's")
* and now, business models that apparently profit on reporting the metrics of nothingness (invisible products)

Stop the world, I wanna get off!

Stephen Eichenbaum said...

Finally. An ad medium for those folks who felt subliminal ads were too invasive.