When it comes to viewability, TV commercials may not be as superior to digital ads as the industry believes.
IPG Media Lab worked with research firm TVision to analyze six months of TV viewing behavior to assess how often people are actually seeing commercials. Using a term that’s more often used in the digital landscape, the study says that 29% of TV ad deliveries are not “viewable,” meaning nobody is in the room for at least two seconds while the commercial is airing. This compares to 31% of digital video being unviewable.
“Viewability has long been a term of discussion in the digital advertising landscape, but now the industry is realizing just how difficult it is to measure linear TV’s viewability as well and track exactly how and when ads are being viewed,” Chad Stoller, managing partner for IPG Media Lab, said in a statement.
“The way TV has historically been measured does not capture the fact that TV does have a viewability problem that is similar to that of digital,” says Luke McGuinness, president of TVision. “It’s pretty similar in size and can have a fairly significant impact on how marketers think about their TV advertising.”
The study used technology that was installed in a panel of households, recording variables such as how many people were in the room when an ad aired, whether people looked at the specific ad and if the ad was viewed by its target audience.
Some categories fared better than others: pharmaceutical ads were viewed 75% of the time, compared to 65% viewability for recreational ads, e.g. entertainment venues, toys and games and gyms/fitness. This could, in part, be due to the use of longer pharma ads, which tend to increase viewability, McGuinness says.
Source: Raimonde, O. (2019, March 19). How often are people in the room when TV Ads air? AdAge.
Editor’s Note: TVision and IPG Media Lab explore “commercial viewability”.