Laura Desmond, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, recently voiced her concern over media mix modeling, since the standard measure is exposure and not engagement. She would rather the industry measure the consumer experience. Consequently, MediaVest recently announced a new practice that will focus on understanding the human experience as consumers interact or engage with media.
As the digital landscape continues to advance and evolve, it’s critical that we look at new formats and metrics that not only benefit advertisers but give users a better experience. New formats that give users a choice with video advertising, which they’ve become accustomed to in other aspects of their digital lives.
We have the opportunity with online video to go beyond the traditional TV model and explore formats that generate consumer engagement. We don't have to always interrupt someone's desire to see a piece of content by forcing them to watch our video advertisement. We can give consumers the ability to choose which ad they watch and reward them for engaging behavior.
If we decide to push back with advertisers against the hybrid TV-model crammed into the digital landscape, what alternatives can we offer them?
One interesting format and metric for digital video advertising that is poised for explosive growth is Cost Per View (CPV). CPV is based on the concept that the consumer controls the experience. With CPV, consumers can decide whether or not to watch the video ad in full. And in many placements such as on Facebook, consumers can also decide which ad to watch.
With CPV, an advertiser only pays if a consumer watches 100% of the ad, and pays on a per impression basis. Typically, the CPV advertising cost is higher than CPMs; however CPV is a system markedly different than the traditional TV video advertising model, and delivers more than the traditional CPM model. First, CPV allows advertisers to only pay for engaged consumers and therefore ensures that their advertising costs are better aligned with their goals of being able to increase and measure video ad viewership. Second, because consumers have a choice, the responsibility of creating compelling content that captures consumer's attention and time falls back onto the agency. Compelling ad content in turn leads to higher brand awareness and trust in the brand.
This changes the game. It gives consumers choice, gives advertisers a captive audience, and gives agencies better information for measuring and optimizing campaigns.
What’s our responsibility here?
Temptation and inertia are strong for agencies to give CMOs the metrics and ad buys that they're accustomed to. However, if CPV can measurably impact the ultimate goal – engagement that leads to increased brand awareness, brand lift, and sales from an advertising campaign, then we should push an advertiser or CMO to strongly consider it. In fact, YouTube has predicted that 50% of video ads will include Cost Per View by 2015 – a startling statistic that proves we have the power to change our industry for the better by delivering better engagement for advertisers and giving consumers the control they desire.
Be ahead of the curve. It's a painful cliché, but it's painful because it's true - change is hard. Many digital advertising executives will read this article, and make a mental note - I need to add CPV to my To Do list. We all know what happens to things at the bottom of your To Do list. They don't get done. Why not be one of the leading agencies or advertisers embracing new units and metrics?
Standard ad units like pre-roll and metrics like click-through rate (CTR) will be a valuable part of the advertising mix for awhile. But the burden falls on us to give advertisers and CMOs the information and understanding to take that leap into more innovative ways like CPV to engage a consumer and measure their response.