VIEQUES, PR — The rush to quantify whether online ads are actually being seen by users has given rise to “viewability” metrics. But these are a baseline, not even a metric that should be top of mine, says one ad-tech exec.

“The key thing is, it’s not a KPI,” Integral Ad Science video GM Kevin Lenane tells session moderator Matt Spiegel of MediaLink in this recorded panel interview. “The equivalent is, I order a cheeseburger and I get the cheeseburger. That’s measuring viewability.”

That means viewability doesn’t account for the actual taste of the cheeseburger – or, in ad terms, whether it actually resonated with viewers. Lenane says advertisers should look beyond the cheeseburger.

“The IAB, the organisation that came up with (viewability), said, ‘This is a starting point’. I don’t know how we got there… it became the standard.”

Lenane says Integral is trying to do things differently: “We’re focused on the metrics of impact beyond the baseline, like in-banner versus in-stream, player size… these are where you’re measuring how good is that burger… is the cheese good, is the meat good, how tasty is it? Those metrics correlate to brand lift.”

In fact, viewable ads may be played but they may not really hit the mark of effectiveness, Lenane claims.

In what he portrays as a worrying development, he says over half of pre-roll ads aren’t even served in the supporting context of an actual piece of video content – something which would annoy users and which many advertisers aren’t even aware of.

This video was produced at the Beet.TV executive retreat presented by Videology.  You can find more videos from the session here.