There’s an industry of media companies looking to invent the digital equivalent of the better mouse trap. In the case of online video advertising, that means creating a way an ad unit is seen, and verifiably seen that has a kind of provable engagement with viewers.
Evolve Media might have a workable one with its new INgage, being formally introduced today. It puts the online ad within the “well” of written content. It exists only when you reach that point and then goes away after the user either looks at it or disregards it. Then that ad disappears, leaving the editorial content pristine again. In other words it only plays when in view, and then just goes away.
I always find my descriptions of these things are miserable, so maybe taking a look at it explains it better. A picture is worth a thousand words; a video must be some incredible multiple of that.
INgage is part of Evolve’s SpringBoard Video platform, which gives marketers with reporting and analytics INgage would seem to be a good solution for viewability woes, of course, and what’s more, Brian Fitzgerald, Evolve’s co-founder and president, hopes to price it based solely on how often the ad is actually viewed, a reasonably do-able goal because that’s easily measured. Evolve is offering INgage on its CraveOnline and TotallyHer sites among other places.
Fitzgerald likes INgage because, he says, it puts the ad right out there, to be seen or not. It avoids the “the right rail blindness” most people have. “The INgage spot is right in front of them,” he says. “If you’re uninterested, you scroll right past, the video stops.”
He claims with test clients that the ads are being completed 40% of the time. And interestingly, because the ads show up in the middle of text, an advertiser knows the reader/viewer is engaged to begin with it; it’s not an ad that launches as soon as the site does that would be easier to immediately ignore.
Fitzgerald’s done some thinking about the viewability issue; everybody in the business has.
“It’s a bit self-fulfilling,” he says of vendors and others who speak in panicked tones about the fraud in the biz. “It’s taken on its own life. This is a problem any agency any client should want to solve. It’s also a problem not so coincidentally that benefits not just the technology vendors but it benefits clients. Because if they can point to a third party and say, look this is non- human viewing, I’m not paying for it, that helps them.” That’s partly why INgage, or other hard-to-mess with advertising delivery solutions, actually are solutions in the most practical sense of the word. Here's a mousetrap that might be worth trying.