Over the past year, NeoEdge's sales and tech teams have tracked campaign performance across multiple verticals, including automotive, quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and consumer packaged goods (CPG), to find category-specific baselines for time spent watching the ad and click-through rates (CTR). Automotive advertisers, for example, might expect an 80% time-spent benchmark, with CTRs in the 0.5%-3.0% range, according to Ty Levine, NeoEdge's marketing VP.
"We can tell an advertiser what level of engagement (as defined by time spent and CTR) they should expect by vertical," Levine said. "If we don't deliver, we absorb the risk and provide additional impressions. So if a million-impression campaign doesn't meet the guaranteed minimums, we'd add an additional 250,000 impressions. Essentially, their eCPM has gone down, because they get 1.25 million impressions for the original price, and we still provide the engagement."
Advertisers can also be assured that the "makegood" will run in the same game--an advantage that the Web provides over TV "makegoods," which can sometimes run against different shows or dayparts than were originally intended. "You can target Diner Dash players regardless of which site they're on," Levine said. "The nature of casual games makes it much easier to match up a 'makegood' than it is with a TV spot."
Levine said that the company uses both CTR and time spent as performance metrics, despite the fact that the CPM-based video ads typically do not feature any direct calls to action. It's a way to build more value into the spots, which run as pre-, post- or interstitial videos in casual games across sites like Yahoo Games and iWin.
"We're essentially offering brand and direct-response ads in the same toolset," Levine said.
He added that the metrics (and NeoEdge's performance guarantee) would help assuage marketers' return on investment (ROI) concerns in the midst of a "tight" economy. Brands including Bounty, Folgers and Visa have tapped NeoEdge to run casual game-based online video campaigns, which can be behaviorally, geographically and demographically targeted. Run of network and game-specific buys are also available.