Sticky (not to be confused with StickyAds.tv) are a New York-based company specialising in eye-tracking technology. The company counts Google, P&G, AOL, Unilever and L’oreal amongst its clients, who use the technology for everything from viewability to finding the optimal ad placement on a page. Here Jeff Bander, President and Chief Revenue Officer of Sticky explains how the technology works and how it is being applied.
How does the technology work and who is using it today?
Sticky’s patented biometric online eye tracking is a user opt-in technology that uses consumers’ regular webcams to identify two key metrics in measuring attention to videos. For pre-roll video ads, Sticky will tell you what percentage of people actually have seen your ad and how long they look at your message and brand. In today’s marketplace, the success of online videos is measured by how long the video ran. But just because a video ran, does not mean consumers were looking at it. On average for 30-second pre-rolls that run a full 30 seconds, only 16 seconds of the the 30 seconds is actually seen.
Are there any ‘golden rules’ for making brands more visible within content?
We have a list of best practices. Marketing to women is very different than marketing to men. Match content of site as close as possible. For example, running a men’s razor ad on a women’s site may not be the best match. Also, do not put text over images. In both cases, the ads get lost and are not communicated.
What about making ads more visible on a page? What do publishers tend to get wrong?
For publishers, placement is very important. The creative is also a factor that publishers do not have control of. Our technology lets publishers know if results are based on creative or placement.
Do you think the new IAB viewability standards been effective so far? Could they be improved?
The new IAB standards are effective. Keep in mind, we’re making a major shift in measurement as a process. Our industry moves very fast and technology pushes the changes even faster.
Every media sector wishes it could measure usage, engagement and audiences like the digital world. The reality is they cannot. The IAB has done a terrific job of raising the bar for all parties. Our suggestion, however, is never be content with status quo. If potential for something to be seen is good, which it is, actually being seen is the next level up. We believe the market wants this. We know brands do, and strong publishers do, too.
I am sure in near future, new technology will bring even more accuracy and transparency to the digital world. The other, older medias are in a scary place. In some ways, some are like the horse and buggy.
Has the industry’s increased focus on viewability been beneficial to businesses like yours?
It’s been extremely beneficial. Brands want to know their brand is being seen and when they pay for impressions, viewabilty is a good first step. The IAB and MRC have raised the bar regarding transparency and accountability, which we believe will help drive more ad dollars from old traditional media platforms like TV to the digital world. What many people do not think about is the fact that older traditional media do not have the ability to measure actually viewability or SEEN metrics. A TV may be on, but it does not mean anyone is in the room or looking at it?