The majority of consumers do not remember seeing ads which are typically labelled as “viewable” according to the IAB and Media Ratings Council benchmarks.
According to a survey of 1,000 UK consumers by Outbrain, 75% were unable to recall the brands mentioned in ads which met minimum viewability standards.
Additionally, 95% of respondents were more likely to have a negative view of brands featured in ads which interrupted their browsing experience. Pop-ups were the most annoying ad format (56%), followed by auto-play video ads with sound on (45%).
“As an industry, we have a challenge around how we measure viewability vs engagement,” explained Gilad de Vries, the SVP of strategy at Outbrain. “Instead of focusing on more accurate engagement metrics, brands are still overpaying for higher viewability, and falsely assuming this guarantees higher engagement.”
Meanwhile, for 57% of consumers ad relevance is an important criteria to engage with ads. Another 20% also pay more attention to content from the same brand after seeing a relevant ad from them.
Consumers also tend to trust products more when they are advertised on premium publisher sites (44%).
The survey noted that top-of-the-page banner ads capture more attention (26%), whilst 24% of respondents paid more attention to ads at the end of articles.
Having surveyed 190 media professionals, Outbrain found that 25% didn’t know how IAB defined “viewable” ads. Another 19% believe viewable to mean 50% of ad pixels to appear on screen for three seconds.
Viewable mobile impressions are defined as those with at least 50% of pixels in view for one consecutive second for display and two seconds for video. Only 11% of media professionals said the current definition was ideal.