The novel concept of charging only for ads that are viewed
By Matthew Schwartz
Senior VP-digital advertising strategy
Forbes Media last month said that it would adopt comScore's validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) program, which ensures that advertisers pay only for ads that are viewed. Forbes.com will deploy the software for online ad campaigns that use Forbes' Brand Increase Guarantee program, which assures advertisers their ads will be “in-view.” Mark Howard, senior VP-digital advertising strategy at Forbes Media, related what advantages comScore's vCE will deliver.
Digital Directions: How does the validated Campaign Essentials tool work?
Mark Howard: It's a fairly simple process. We are already have comScore tags on the site and, with the addition of the Campaign Essentials tool, we just simply amend their code to the ad tags. With that, we're able to track each of the different placements of the ad campaign.
DD: How does the tool help to take some of the guesswork out of online ad pricing?
Howard: By ensuring our vBIG (Viewable Brand Increase Guarantee) partners that their ads will all be in-view, that helps in a significant way. According to comScore, as many as 31% of the ads that are served across the Web never actually come into view. So by eliminating the guesswork around whether (media buyers') impressions will fall subject to that 31%, it certainly helps them feel much more comfortable with their investment and how they evaluate that campaign on Forbes.com.
DD: By using the vCE program, are you looking to meld lead-gen with brand metrics?
Howard: The emphasis of this program is really to bring the focus back to brand metrics. With the Viewable Brand Increase Guarantee, what we're ultimately measuring are the lifts in brand awareness, brand favorability, message association or purchase intent. The program is a way for our brand advertisers to be able to break away from having to rely as heavily on those direct response metrics and focus much more on the metrics that actually do help them to drive their business objectives.
DD: Do you think that using the system will provide a surge in ad spending among your existing online advertisers and also bring in buyers who otherwise might forgo spending on Forbes.com?
Howard: Absolutely. It's doing two things. It's helping partners who otherwise weren't going to be investing very heavily in their brand objectives move forward with those initiatives in terms of aligning those branding objectives with quantifiable results. It's also playing a significant role for those partners of ours who were going to run at a lower investment level to get to the $250,000 per quarter investment threshold. This way, they know with their campaigns on Forbes.com they'll achieve their desired results or they won't have to pay for it.