Citing the conventional wisdom that a lack of branding impact metrics is hindering ad dollars from moving online, Google today unveiled an initiative it’s calling “Brand Activate,” which involves the adoption of branding-oriented metrics and the roll-out of tools to measure them across its product portfolio.
The initiative gives a strong push to industry-wide standards proposed by the Making Measurement Make Sense coalition, which includes the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Additionally, Google is seeking the approval of the Media Rating Council (MRC) in the accreditation of its measurement methodology.
Google is starting with two metrics it says will be available to its advertisers in the coming weeks. The first, called Active View, measures whether an ad is actually seen — or at least is available to be seen — by a user. Both the IAB and comScore have been pushing this “viewed” impressions metric, with the IAB’s proposed standard being a display ad that is at least 50% viewable on the screen for at least one second.
Active View will first be available on the Google Display Network Reserve, a subset of brand-safe sites within the Display Network on which the company guarantees delivery. Eventually it will be available in DoubleClick for Advertisers and across other products. Importantly, Google says advertisers will be able to pay only for viewed impressions.
The second initial metric is Active GRP (for Gross Rating Point), which builds upon the standard measure used in television media buying. GRP captures reach multiplied by frequency, and is expressed as a percentage. Google says it’s calculating Active GRP by combining aggregated panel data and anonymous user data, some of which is user-provided and some of which is behavioral. The company will submit the methodology for MRC certification.
Active GRP will be built into Google’s ad serving tools and the company says advertisers will be able to make adjustments in their campaigns while they are in progress. A pilot program for DoubleClick for Advertisers clients is currently in progress, and it will eventually be rolled out to other products.
The company says it will continue to work on developing and implementing measures of value to brand marketers. Here’s the official video explaining the initiative: