Innovid Pitches Ad Verification By Noting Weird Pattern of Pharma Ads

Innovid just released data that found pre-roll ads for travel or car-related products got highest rates of engagement when placed before video on the same broad topics.  

As I like to say (to an appreciative myself), “Whoa! Slow down the presses!”  

So, a Westin commercial before the video about winter travel destinations is good placement.  An Allstate commercial before the video about a new hybrid car is good, too. That's sort of what was discovered in this study, at least, and it all sounds logical.

But this verification study says pharmaceutical ads get more lift before a sports video versus those ads placed anywhere else, including, apparently, even before health-related videos.

Engagement rates for pharma ads before sports videos were 2.3 times higher than if that ad appeared somewhere else.

The purpose of the Innovid research then, is to inform you, to quote Fats Waller, “One never knows, do one?”

This is the pitch for Innovid’s content verification solution Atom, which it debuted in the spring and lets advertisers check cross-platform campaigns. It can do all this deep diving for an advertiser, to discover places where a message can do better than others. I would suppose that makes sense, and since video ads can go to so many different kinds of places on the Internet, maybe even necessary.

The Innovid data does say apples-and-apples does seem to work, and that is to say a lot of research you pay for turns up with exactly the results you would expect, but need to prove anyway. Travel related pre-roll before a travel video has an engagement rate 1.9 times better than if placed before some other kind of video. A car-related ad has an engagement rate 1.4 times higher when placed before an auto-related video than some other kind of video.

I am so not surprised, and I think I am supposed to be not surprised. But there are surprises.  “One might assume that that one-to-one content matching would be the best way to run a campaign,” this report says, “but it did not necessarily work that way” in the study.

Advertisers can get the same kind of information—and probably some of it would be surprising—from Innovid which says it can help advertisers “understand which video content categories provide the best performance lift to your campaigns. Based on this data, you can contextually target specific content categories in order to optimize campaigns and maximize ROI.”

But to a large extent, don’t advertisers know this stuff already?  I’m asking, for real. Not all categories are the same, so consumer behavior wouldn’t be either.

"This study is just a first high-level look at how content categories and campaign performance may correlate. We don’t intend to say that pharma will always perform well with sports videos, or any other specific category-to-vertical match," answers Zvika Netter, Innovid's CEO, in an email response to questions.

"What we are saying is that we are noticing increased engagement rate based on this correlation, and we believe there are other similar findings to be had with full video content verification reports," his email continues. "Understanding which category of video content follows your ad is important because it represents the consumers' interests at that moment. If you can verify this content and notice correlations with your own campaign performance, you can devise a new way of optimizing your targeting, and not necessarily just with related video categories." 

Well, OK. When one is contemplating travel, or buying a car, they might logically stop to look at related ads while seeking out related videos.

Pharmaceutical needs are a far wider category, with products ranging from aspirin to Zycor and maladies from asthma to eczema, ED to shingles.They might be conditions that sufferers are living with; they’re not actively searching for the cure. If they run across something new, they might give a look.

But would you think such a receptive bunch of sufferers would all be ganging up to watch sports videos? Past the ED guys, I’d say no. (And if Cialis needed more than four hours to figure that one out, they should consult a doctor.) I guess that's the point. One never knows.

pj@mediapost.com

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