One aspect of cross-screen video advertising attribution that will need to catch up with others is being able to determine the impact of different creative iterations. Some research suggests creative can account for as much as 70% of overall campaign performance, according to FreeWheel’s Claudio Marcus.

Much of the in-depth studies that FreeWheel has done to on the impact of creative have centered on program promotions, Marcus explains in this interview with Beet.TV at the recent CIMM Cross-Platform Video Measurement and Data Summit in Manhattan. This is because there’s more variance in the absence of having to deal with issues like talent rights.

“So you have a lot more versions that tie to the different episodes and you can see the impact over time,” says Marcus, who is GM of FreeWheel’s Data Platform. “When you look at the impact of creative from that perspective, you get insights that are almost impossible to gain by just looking at the creative.”

Even an art director or a producer looking at the two pieces of promotion might say “these look solid. But when you do the attribution, which is really an aggregated analysis based on millions of homes, you can discern the fact that one of the promos actually had an outsized impact.

“It might have been because it didn’t wear out as much or because it had an emotional connection that the other one didn’t,” Marcus adds. “To the untrained and certainly even to the trained eye, you might not have been able to understand that by just looking at the creative.”

A lot of attribution today doesn’t even take into account the difference in creative, partly because so many campaigns rely on a single creative iteration. “So the attribution solutions have not focused too much on having different creative, and even when you have different creative, there’s another layer to this, which is it’s not just which creative wins.”

It may be that different creatives are better suited for different types of audiences. So with a program promotion for a romantic comedy, the more romantic version of the promo may work better with women while the more comedic part may work better with men.

FreeWheel began its research with linear television attribution “because we thought that was the biggest gap. Billions and billions of impressions on linear TV that were not being properly credited for their impact in terms of effectiveness and their contribution to the marketing performance,” Marcus explains. The company is now expanding that to include both linear and cross-platform addressable TV.

Because creative may have a different impact with different segments, sub-segments or context, “the digital side, the addressable side, allows you more flexibility in being able to act on those insights than the linear side. At the end of the day, even if I have a romantic comedy, no matter where I place it I’m not going to be getting a one hundred percent romance focus or a one hundred percent comedic focus. But when I’m in an addressable context, I can have the right creative with the right context targeting the right segment or sub segment,” says Marcus.