In a media world fast moving to a fragmented array of multi-screen consumption, advertisers are racing to measure holistic consumption – and the effect of multi-screen ads.

But are they asking the right questions? OMD chief digital and innovation officer Ben Winkler doesn’t think so, and he’s got a better idea.

Winkler says the history of online ad measurement has been about publishers responding to game ad formats introduced by agencies and tech firms – whether it be the rise of publisher click farms as a response to click measurement, or of auto-playing videos as a response to the preponderance of video views.

“We come up with a new measurement every couple of weeks. Clearly this is not working out,” he says. “The question we have been asking is wrong. The question we’ve been asking is, ‘What measurement most represents performance for my client?’ That’s not right.

“The correct question is, ‘What measurement would best encourage publishers to deliver advertising that helps my client succeed?’”

Winkler proposes a solution that goes like this – publishers should gather their finest minds in a room to field-test new ad formats. If the format is still standing and serving both parties after a weekend, that format is a winner – if not, it should be discarded, lest the merrygoround continue.

“Make it a hackathon,” Winkler reckons. “Force them to come up with those ideas. If they can’t game it in 48 hours, maybe we’re on to something. It’s doable if we change our mindset.”


We interviewed him at Media Future Conversations 2015: Unblocked – Valuing Human Attention In A Content-Driven World, an event presented by true[X] in association in association with Beet.TV  Please find more event videos here.