With ad-blocking conversations in high gear, publishers are looking for emerging, engaging and non-interruptive ad formats. Is there such a thing as a non-interruptive ad? Maybe.
Vibrant Media is just one of many companies developing new ad formats that are less-interruptive and that will, perhaps, make people less likely to block ads. In the last few weeks, Vibrant launched a user-initiated out-of-stream ad format it calls In-View in the U.K. It plans to launch the format in Germany and the U.S. in coming weeks. Vibrant has a network of 6,500 publishers globally.
What makes InView different from most in-feed formats is that the ad launches when the user initiates it. Consumers mouse, tap or hover over a word in an article that they’re interested in, and the ad unit is displayed. This makes the experience more contextually relevant for consumers, because essentially, they're volunteering their interest and are more likely to click on the ad—there’s an opportunity for a higher response rate. The ad is positioned as a natural break within content consumption, and it doesn’t take the reader away from what they’re enjoying until they choose to move on.
“Publishers want to make money but they don’t want to upset their readers because the readers can skip and block ads. You have to be more sensitive to the reader. We’re trying to do that with this format,” said Craig Gooding, founder and executive chairman, Vibrant Media. Gooding said that the idea behind the new ad format was to create a new native unit within the page. In-View identifies a word that’s most likely a trigger point, which readers use as a way to explore the content they’re reading.
“We’re known for in-text advertising. We wanted to create a unit within the editorial content that’s contextually relevant and is initiated by the user,” Gooding said. In addition, he said In-View can live within any type of content, editorial or branded.
In terms of viewability, Vibrant is touting In-View’s ability to accommodate brands’ diverse budgets, audiences and desire for various levels of direct response, attention and engagement. Ad campaigns only display when a user intentionally initiates the format and the technology keeps 100% of the ad unit in view.
“We’re in a tug of war right now. Advertisers want more viewable inventory, and the publishers want to maintain their yield, but they’re being forced to place more ads above the fold,” Gooding explained. “We’re trying to say, let’s have a ‘less is more’ approach and not carpet-bomb our readers. Let’s allow them to initiate an ad when they want to see it, and use contextual and audience targeting to deliver a relevant experience. If a user gets to choose when they want to see an ad and it’s relevant, it diminishes the need to block an ad,” he said. This sounds like a sensible view.
As for In-View, the non-video ad formats will mostly be sold on a cost-per-click basis, while those that incorporate video will be sold on a cost-per-completed-view basis. All In-View ads can be purchased programmatically. Contextual targeting capabilities can be added on to the buy.