A few days back, our friends at ad-targeting-firm DSPolitical sent over a New York Times article that should scare the pants off of anyone who’s spending money to buy video ads. Why? Let’s start with this:
By many estimates, more than half of online video ads are not seen, either because they are buried low on web pages or run in tiny, easily ignored video players on those pages, or run simultaneously with other ads. Vindico, an ad management platform company, deemed 57 percent of two billion video ads surveyed over two months to be “unviewable.”
More than half of video ads unviewable? Holy crap! Of course, DSPolitical sent the piece to highlight their own “unskippable” ad inventory, so at least some people believe that they can avoid the problem. But if political advertisers in general really ARE wasting more than half the money they spend on video ads, that’s a very serious problem.
And one that’s not limited to video ads: anyone who runs a Facebook page is probably familiar with the “X people reached” number that Facebook displays to page administrators beneath individual posts. But what does that number mean? The post appeared in their timeline, we assume, but did the people in question even notice? Were they even LOOKING at their timeline at the right moment? Somehow I get the feeling that a lot fewer people read what we publish than we’d like to think…a sobering thought for any professional communicator. Or anyone else who values the time he or she puts into creating content.
One final note: my old friend Alex Treadway gets a lot of space in the NYT piece, talking about a particular ad run on the Daily Caller, where he’s now in charge of advertising. And, it’s perfect Alex: straightforward and honest. Refreshing.