May 14, 2020

Thus far, the advertising industry has primarily focused on only one of the factors that determines “opportunity to see” digital ads – whether the ad actually appears on the screen. What is often not discussed is the other factor that offers a non-fraudulent digital ad an “opportunity to be seen” – a person is present when the ad is on screen. To date, human presence has often been overlooked by the industry because it is difficult to measure, and because ads are served to personal devices like mobile phones. Thus, it is presumed that someone is present when a digital ad is on screen. While it seems logical, no one has actually tested this conjecture until now.

This concept of human “presence” is a common concern for TV ads given the fact that people often leave the room during commercial breaks. In fact, MAGNA, IPG Media Lab, and TVision recently quantified how often an ad airs to an empty room, which is 29% of the time. As a follow-up, a new study by MAGNA and IPG Media Lab, “Dissecting ‘Opportunity to See,’” tested the presumption that a person is present when digital ads appear on the screen, in an effort to quantify how often digital ads appear without the person present.

Presence is defined as a person in the same visual range (for >=1 sec) of a digital ad that fully appears on the screen (the person may or may not be looking at the screen).  A major finding from the study is that while presence is very high at first (99.2%), it does decline.  For example, 94% of non-skippable video ads reached six or more seconds of human presence.

For the study, participants used in-home POV cameras to record their digital viewing experiences across PC and mobile devices in a natural environment over the course of two weeks. In each instance, the camera was mounted to the participant’s head in order to obtain a view of where they are in relation to their digital device, and a screen recorder was turned on their PC and mobile devices to capture what’s on the screen. The study included 102 participants, with 1,004 hours of video recorded and analyzed.

“It’s crucial for marketers to accurately understand both of the components that determine whether ads have the opportunity to be seen”, said Kara Manatt, SVP, Group Director, Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA Global. “While the industry has a strong understanding of ‘ads on screen’, we’ve yet to understand whether we should expect a person to always be present. This research finally quantifies this for us and provides invaluable insight into consumer behavior.”

Additional key findings include:

  •     There was nearly total presence regardless of device and for both digital video (98.4%) and display (100%).
  •     All video positions are not created equally; digital presence for pre-roll video sat at 99.5%, compared to mid-roll video at 97.1%.
  •     Overall, 97.7% of digital video ads had presence for 2+ seconds.
  •     Presence, however, declines over time indicating the continued need for the industry to understand how to best capture and hold consumer attention.

As mentioned earlier, the study was a follow up to research conducted by MAGNA and IPG Media Lab, in partnership with TVision, “Quantifying TV Viewability,” which revealed how often people are in the room when ads air and how this varies by daypart, position in ad pod and ad length.

To download report CLICK HERE.



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