Everyone knows this one: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? But what about this: if an ad plays on the internet, and no one is around to see it, is it really an ad?
The point of digital advertising isn’t to serve a certain number of impressions. Instead, the underlying purpose is to deliver a message that impacts a particular audience. Today, there’s an important assumption made about this audience: they all have a chance of receiving the message. But we know lots of things might impede the message being received (being below the fold, muted, in a non-active window, etc). Whether or not the basic conditions are met to even have a chance of receiving the message is the core concept of viewability—a concept that historically has been overlooked and difficult to guarantee in digital advertising. Until now.
This week at Videology, we announced that we are now providing users with the ability to transact on viewability as a currency, defined as viewable CPM. For advertisers that are serious about the distinction between ‘served’ and ‘viewable,’ this capability gives them a new way define “success” in quantifiable terms. It means they are guaranteed a certain number of viewable impressions at a guaranteed price, measured off the vendor of their choice—and all self-service. We’re the first to offer this, and think it’s an important step in the evolution of how viewability is defined in video advertising. While it’s not possible to ensure that 100% of impressions will be viewable, since that measurement happens after ad serving, we can guarantee that if you run a vCPM campaign with Videology, you’ll only pay for impressions that turned out to be viewable.
Returning to the question about the tree: Google around for the definition of “advertisement” (I just did). You’ll see the words “public place” and “people” and “attention” again and again. So to answer, no, you need someone to see it, to give it attention, to receive it, and to be impacted by it. And the owner of the tree should know whether it fell or not.