Digital ad spending nearly equaled that of television by 2015. For almost 50 years, the Media Rating Council (MRC) had standardized the measurement of television viewing. Their challenge in 2015 was to develop similar standards for digital advertising.
David Gunzerath of the MRC taught students at the ARF’s Leadership Lab the in’s and out’s of the MRC’s recently-launched Digital Ad Viewability standards. Building on academic literature that the human brain processes communication in as little as one second, the MRC evaluated millions of ads to see how quickly the average display and video ads loaded on a desktop page and linked them to what they had learned about human comprehension.
From this analysis, the MRC proposed the following viewability standards for desktop digital advertising:
– For display and banner ads, at least 50% of pixels needed to be on screen for at least one second to be considered viewable by consumers.
– For video ads, at least 50% of pixels needed to be on screen for at least two seconds for the ad to be considered viewable.
The MRC went on to propose similar viewability standards for mobile digital advertising.