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Ad Quality: When Digital Glitches Leave Viewers With a Bad Taste

December 27th, 2017   ||    by Monta Monaco Hernon   ||    No Comments

Digital advertising sells itself on the promise of more direct targeting, using data to determine which audience is the most receptive to a particular message.

But what if something goes wrong with ad playback? You can’t sway a consumer if they can’t see the ad. And you aren’t likely to win them over if it stalls in the middle, is pixelated, or has terrible sound.

Ad quality continues to be an issue in the digital realm, though it tends to be brushed under the rug in favor of the benefits of programmatic. You can think of digital advertising as an assembly line: it speeds things up and reduces cost, but the personal quality-control element is missing.

Missing Audience

According to MediaPost, ads don’t play 25–50 percent of the time in mobile and desktop environments, while 20 percent of ads play sound when they’re muted—and 1–3 percent of digital ads include adware. Reasons for these glitches in ad quality range from user error to technical bugs.

Inexperienced ad operations personnel can wreak havoc with the ad server, and with multiple resellers involved, mistakes are liable to occur (but there could also be a problem with fraud). From the technical side, MediaPost reminds us that unlike with broadcast, online advertising involves a string of code, which itself leaves room for problems.

In a world where—let’s face it—viewers don’t always appreciate advertisements intruding into their content, inconsistencies or problems with those ads turn them off the message even more. The advent of ad blockers has allowed people to opt out of ads completely, and subscription-only over-the-top (OTT) models are on the rise.

Broadcast television, on the other hand, does not suffer from the same quality issues as digital when it comes to advertising. And local television has repeatedly proven its worth among viewers who express trust in their broadcasters. The sense of community built up between local TV and its audience often carries over to the advertisers that support programming.

High-Tech TV

The rock-solid medium of broadcast television isn’t stuck in the stone age, however. Programmatic TV is now offering the same benefit of data-informed buying that digital is known for. Determining which viewers will be most receptive to a particular message allows buyers to produce high-quality HD content with a creative twist that appeals to a specific group of people.

Programmatic TV also offers automation in the form of avails, makegoods, and posting—and takes away many of the back-and-forth phone calls and emails that often accompany spot negotiations.

In other words, programmatic brings some of the speedier features of digital advertising to television. And television is a long sought-after advertising medium itself, having earned viewer trust and brought quality content to audiences over many years. And it’s not just the programming that provides a quality experience—it’s the advertising too.

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