Google's Brand Initiatives Bring Offline Metrics To Online Ads

Ad-on-TVTelevision media buyers who are familiar with gross rating point metrics -- but struggling to understand digital measurements -- now have tools from Google that bring the familiarity of measuring offline campaigns online.

Google's Active GRP and Active View integrate into the DoubleClick for Advertisers ad-serving platform used by publishers and marketers. The company launched a pilot program as a first step.

Google hopes that Active GRP, a GRP metric modeled on TV advertising measurements, will become the standard for online advertising. A Google spokesperson noted: "It's a tough technology puzzle to solve."

Active GRP, the counterpart to traditional rating metrics, relies on a statistical model that combines aggregate panel data and anonymous user data, either inferred or user-provided, which occurs when people voluntarily join user panels. Calculations determine a marketer's reach with each online buy.

The tool serves up information on measurements from a variety of media, such as mobile, display, and video. Marketers can take immediate action on the measurements viewed in a dashboard.

Google will likely make offline GRP metrics available in the dashboard, because it follows the company's focus to give marketers the ability to compare offline and online campaigns and data. The Google spokesperson declined to comment on future features.

The Active GRP tool integrates with another product Google, Active View, which measures viewed impressions.

Through a tag in the ad creative piece, the Active View technology can tell Google's platform whether at least 50% of the ad has been in view on a Web page for at least one second. After ads serve up and render on the publisher's page, for example, Active View measures the ad unit position and browser dimension. It also registers any events that might change the layout of the page, and what the ad industry calls "viewability."

Active View metrics, such as the percentage of the ads inside the browser viewport and corresponding duration, are measured.

Active View will roll out in the coming weeks in the Google Display Network Reserve, which supports targeting relevant content channels, timing and advanced targeting, such as geographic, demographic and above the fold. It claims to help advertisers keep track of the services and products received for money invested in campaigns.

In the past, brands might have known the ads were served, but did not understand if the ads were viewed. Google is not the only company that launched a viewability service this week. AdSafe Media also introduced a similar service. The company's CEO, Scott Knoll, said the technology blocks between 3% and 7% of the nearly 2 billion ads served daily from serving up next to inappropriate content. It can also tell advertisers when someone viewed an ad.

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