100% Fulfillment is Not 100% Viewable

by | May 14, 2015

There was a moment in the viewability discussion when conversations about what people can actually see were replaced with talk of pixels, ad formats, and display duration.

While much of this discussion might be necessary and indeed guides us to the overall goal of making ads viewable, it also creates an ecosystem plagued by ambiguity. A process inundated with numbers, technologies and percentages obscures the viewability discussion beneath an opaque veil of complexity.

Here, confusion can run rampant. Details can be missed, or worse, misinterpreted. Overall, it’s a discussion governed by the quivering hand of uncertainty, where assumption and fact stand side-by-side on equal ground.

In such an opaque and ambiguous landscape, guarantees specifically can be a deceptively easy thing to make – but tough to deliver on.

They require foresight. They require hard facts. And they also require a healthy respect for phrasing.

The Problem with Guarantees

There has been recent talk regarding 100% viewability guarantees. However, there are a few problems:

  • Problem 1: No company has been accredited for mobile viewability.  While we wait for the MRC’s final mobile viewability standards later this year, companies take the liberty to create their own standards, which only serves to muddy the waters further.
  • Problem 2: These guarantees have been made exclusively for in-app advertisements. While that’s fine, in-app advertisements are merely one-piece of the puzzle (and generally assumed by the IAB to be 100% viewable anyway).
  • Problem 3: These guarantees aren’t even for 100% viewability. They are for 100% fulfillment.

Here’s Where Phrasing Comes In

Advertisers want 100% viewability. They want to ensure that every impression in a paid campaign is made viewable to a human audience.

So to guarantee 100% viewability, whether you’re a publisher, vendor, or ad network, is to guarantee that – no surprise – every single impression delivered is indeed viewable.

“…we will continue to deliver a client’s in-app campaign until we have achieved complete delivery with viewable impressions.”

Prolonging a campaign until 100% of the impressions ordered by the advertiser have been filled is not 100% viewability. It’s merely 100% fulfillment.

Moreover, if this viewability verification is being done post-campaign through third-party vendors rather than real-time through in-house means, the value of the campaign is going to be decidedly less.

It would be like ordering a large pepperoni pizza for delivery in one hour, and a medium arrives in two. Less value for more time and money.

So rather than pay a third-party to track viewability, which is an additional cost to your budget, use technologies with viewability verification already baked in.

Our pre-bid verification placement platform, AdScore™, will only deliver ads to inventory it knows is viewable, which means you’re getting the maximum number of impressions for your campaign budget as well as fulfilling those impressions in the time frame you expected.

And besides, if you can’t guarantee viewability on inventory bought programmatically (which most companies can’t), then you lose the scale large advertisers need – which is often the whole point.

So if you’re going to make a 100% viewability guarantee, don’t attach a series of conditionals to it. 100% can’t be conditional.

To guarantee 100% viewability you have to deliver 100% viewability.

Anything less is just talk.