Best of the bunch
Among the many flimsy posts loosely tied into a brand’s marketing goals, there are some examples of the triple win: paid-for content that’s good for the consumer, good for the brand and good for the publisher. Here’s a few of the best.
“The Our First Home game gives fans a rewarding renovation experience and delivered extended value to the partners,” says O’Brien.
A murder mystery game in celebration of the series How To Get Away With Murder invites Kiwi fans to take part in an intriguing murder case. Unfolding over six-weeks with twists and turns, players need to complete tasks for the chance to win a cash prize.
The game works across radio, magazines and online with clues hidden in these environments for players to find.
“This is just the beginning,” says O’Brien. “We are listening to what our viewers want and putting this into practice. Adding to our crosspromotional and OnDemand services we have launched a new subscriber community panel, The Green Room. This online space will host a cross-section of Kiwis who will interact with our content and give feedback on what else they might like to see and do with it.” 1. The OnDemand login gives TVNZ the opportunity to gain feedback on what a variety of viewers are watching and respond to this through additional content, content extensions and enhancements. 2. TVNZ has developed The Green Room, a subscriber website that creates a community forum where a broad section of New Zealanders can give feedback to TVNZ through surveys. TVNZ’s ONE News website (tvnz.co.nz/ news) will be making news even more current with the launch of ONE News NOW. The ONE News NOW website and apps will provide a dynamic 24/7 news service with a mobile centric approach.
Bayer says people are consuming more news more frequently through the day than ever before.
“ONE News is the country’s leading news brand, and we are committed to delivering and featuring the stories that matter to New Zealanders, as they happen. Our team will provide the best video content throughout the day. We are excited about what we are creating and we are looking forward to launching this new service to our viewers.”
TVNZ is leading a major change in how programmes and content are delivered, through listening to what viewers want.
blocks in Estonia, Cairo, Dhaka and New Dehli, workers work through the night, doing a menial task for a measly wage. But rather than stitching together high-end sneakers or sewing buttons onto $200 pairs of jeans, the workers in this case sit in front of glowing computer screens, clicking on the paid advertisements that appear on websites. These click farms are ad fraud—a problem that has plagued online publishers since advertising first migrated online. And, as technology advances, fraudulent methodologies are becoming more sophisticated, turning this problem into a large-scale black market with potential to seriously undermine the value of the online metrics digital evangelists so often champion.
In more modern iterations of these fraudulent setups, the scammer might create a website and then start feeding ads onto it through the Google AdSense programme. Next, the scammer introduces a bot that emulates millions of human clicks per day, resulting in the fraudulent user account being credited.
Lindsay Mouat, the chief executive of the Association of New Zealand Advertisers (ANZA), says that research into this issue has already painted a troubling picture for the industry.
“A survey by ANZA’s US partner the Association of National Advertisers in late 2014 suggested almost a quarter of video ad impressions and more than half of third partysourced traffic is fraudulent,” says the ANZA head. “The study by online fraud detection firm White Ops analysed 181 campaigns from 36 major brand advertisers, which were tagged to identify bot fraud. During the study, 5.5 billion impressions in three million domains were measured over 60 days in line with industry spending patterns.”
The topline findings of this study reveal that large chunks of the impressions delivered were in fact facilitated through fraudulent activities: “Botnet controllers hijack everyday consumers’ identities and home machines to conduct ad fraud; almost a quarter (23 percent) of video ad impressions were identified as bot fraud; 11 percent of display ad impressions were classified as bot fraud; publishers who bought sourced traffic from a third party as a means to drive additional unique visitors to their site, had a bot fraud rate of 52 percent on that sourced traffic; programmatic display bot traffic averaged 17 percent bot fraud; and bot fraud for retargeted ads was 19 percent.”
What is most troubling about these stats is that advertising is increasingly being sold—especially in programmatic—in accordance with the number of impressions (or clicks) that are served. And if a large percentage of those clicks are actually generated through fraudulent means, then this in turn means that advertisers are paying for more than what they’re actually getting. Given the money involved, this is something that the industry can’t ignore.
The recent figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IABNZ) showed that advertisers spent $589 million on digital advertising over the course of 2014, leading the body’s chief executive Adrian Pickstock to suggest that interactive advertising had “almost certainly” overtaken newspaper ad spend. So even if the percentages quoted during the study are on the heavier side, this could still mean that a significant number of ad dollars are being paid toward bot rather than human views.
A measurement problem
In his summary of the ad fraud study, Mouat urged the industry players to start working on a strategy to enable accurate measurement of online impressions.
“The industry needs to collaborate—advertisers, agencies, publishers—to substantially reduce bot fraud,” he says. “This [demands] transparency for sourced traffic, inclusion of language on non-human traffic in terms and conditions, being transparent on anti-fraud policy to all external partners, the use of independent monitoring and an ongoing analysis of fraud in advertising traffic.”
In traditional media channels, tracking of campaigns has relied on industry research conducted by independent third parties that aim to determine the number of readers, listeners or viewers that engage with a medium.