Noting that video advertising environments like Facebook and Snapchat were “sort of the belle of the ball” at Cannes last year, GroupM’s Rob Norman has a whimsical suggestion for the 2016 festival. Let entries be judged on small, hand-held screens.
“Maybe everyone should be given a cell phone and made to consume all of the entries on a cell phone, because allegedly that’s how everyone’s consuming their video these days,” Norman muses in an interview with Beet.TV. “It seems so vaguely incongruous that you’re winning prizes for work that’s going to be seen on cellphones and it’s being displayed on the biggest screen anyone can find.”
Alas, such an approach could inevitably lead to questions about viewability—an issue that Norman, GroupM’s Chief Digital Officer, knows all too well. He says “the grey area” is the length of time exposure to create a genuine opportunity to see.
“Either a standard will evolve in that area or, more practically, a price modifier will evolve and people will, from experience, understand that in faster scroll environments that opportunity to see is less robust than in other environments and they will pay accordingly,” Norman says.
On the other hand, he believes it could turn out that human processing power is so great now, “and I’m totally prepared to believe this, by the way,” that relatively fleeting exposures as something passes through a viewable window are enough to attract attention. In that case, “The problem is going to be solved by better and more arresting creative delivered more relevantly,” Norman says, adding, “Anything can happen. That’s a moving target.”
Given GroupM’s tough viewability standards, Norman observes that at the moment, Facebook “is actually not in the sweet spot of the GroupM viewability standard because Facebook, broadly speaking, is a sound-off environment and it’s a short-duration environment.” Nonetheless, GroupM is buying “a considerable if not massive amount” of advertising on Facebook and Twitter as it looks at high-level effectiveness measures around recall.
“We’re seeing different aspects of commercials that are encouraging people to view for longer durations,” Norman explains. “But we do think that if advertisers want to take advantage of feed-based video at scale, they need to think of either one or more often multiple creative executions that recognize the shorter attention span in an environment where viewing, as it were, isn’t forced.”
This interview is part of our series “The Road to Cannes”, presented by FreeWheel. Please visit this page for additional segments.