Skinz' Ad Units Outperform Standard Digital Ad Units, According To Moat Findings

Do skin-based digital ads units perform better than Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standard digital ad units? A study conducted by Moat with Sublime Skinz, a skin-based digital ad company, indicates that they do.

The study, which tracked viewability on Skinz ad units—which include wallpapers that take over backgrounds of web pages, homepage takeovers, video walls, in-display video and interactive backgrounds—found that in-view performance for Skinz units was 92.4% vs. 54.1% for standard ad units. In-view refers to when a consumer is looking at an ad unit on a website; the Skinz ad unit is in-view nearly 100% of the time.

Sublime Skinz ads are nonstandard ad units requiring custom specifications that work with ad servers, demand-side platforms and supply-side platforms. The units aren’t embedded into website content, and they’re not native ad formats.

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“We don’t just take over one section [of a site],” explained Jerem Febvre, co-founder and COO, Sublime Skinz. “When you land on the page, you scroll down and the top banner might disappear, but we have the side branding on the gutters of the site—it’s continuous branding.”

Other findings from the study: The Skinz’ units on-screen performance was 94.4%, vs. 65.4% for standard ad units. On-screen refers to people actually engaging with and seeing the unit. “We can tell whether people are stopping to look at the unit vs. scrolling on a page. It’s more a soft science vs. hard science,” Febvre said.

The Skinz’ units universal interaction performance was 15.2%, vs. 2.8% for standard units. Universal interaction refers to consumers either hovering over or clicking through, and when they leave the ad unit and return to it.

The Skinz’ units on-screen performance during the first second the ad is fully on the screen was 92.4%, vs. 42.4% for standard units. This refers to what the consumer does in the first few seconds when the page loads. Many ads appear below the fold on a website and consumers don’t actually see them. Skinz’ units are always above the fold, according to Febvre.

On attention quality, Skinz units performed 43.5% better, vs. 28.7% for standard units. According to Moat, attention quality is the ratio of users that go from hovering over a unit to interacting with it, which could be click-throughs or playing a video.

The study was conducted from October 2015 through February 2016 on the campaigns of 20 participating Sublime Skinz B2C clients in the entertainment, healthcare, retail and consumer package goods sectors.

"Sublime Skinz has provided a quantifiable, undeniable asset to the market in specific viewability terms," said Charles Cantu, CEO, Huddle Masses, via email. Huddled Masses is an independent trading desk with close ties to MediaMath. Several Huddled Masses campaigns were part of the research.

The study's findings speak to directly to viewability issues. “The programmatic industry is getting much more mature about how to measure and track what were considered untrackable ad units before. This saves us time vs. doing one-off eye-tracking studies," said Ramon Jimenez, VP-North America, Sublime Skinz. “We’re able to give confidence to the buyers about what they’re buying through objective measurement.” The biggest takeaway is that 100% viewability can be ensured programmatically, Jimenez said.

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