Nielsen Filters Make Brand Lift More Measurable

Nielsen has a “new” metric for measuring actual advertising success. Well, in all honesty it’s not really new, but it does make sense to us. Proceeding on the theory that only about 50% of online ads are considered viewable according to IAB’s definitions, nothing has changed in advertising since John Wanamaker said half of his advertising spend was wasted, only he could never figure out which half. That, however, is no longer true. We can at least begin with the viewability metric.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Media Rating Council (MRC) industry guidelines, a viewable impression is defined as a served impression in which a minimum of 50 percent of pixels are in view on a user’s screen for a minimum of one consecutive second.

However, according to Nielsen, viewability measurement is only the beginning of the process. Effectiveness only starts with viewability, it doesn’t end there.

…as a standalone measurement, viewability is only a small part of the larger picture of advertising success. At the end of the day, a brand advertising campaign’s primary goal is not viewability, it’s brand lift, or the percentage increase in the primary marketing objective of a brand advertising campaign (e.g. awareness, favorability, purchase intent). This is why it’s critical to look at both with an integrated approach, not in silos, to understand how viewability affects a marketer’s primary goal of brand lift.

The good news is that Nielsen recently did a study of 30 separate display campaigns and found that brand lift improved by an average of 31% when they filtered out responses generated from non-viewable ads. Applying this filter gave Nielsen the ability to measure viewable brand lift as a real-time success metric. Not only can we now measure which ads were viewable, but we can now measure which viewable ads resonated with the audience and accomplished a campaign objective. It is now also possible to measure where to run those ads to maximize both viewability and resonance, and how often to run them.

Are we getting there? You bet we are. Here’s the Nielsen formula:


We clicked on this page inadvertently while doing our morning scan of Digiday for industry trends. However,  once we took the time to read this landing page, it did make sense. We know that Nielsen has been trying to develop useful metrics for digital advertising to accompany its TV metrics, so we are listening to Nielsen as we listen to many of the other data analytics platforms.

“Using real-time viewable brand lift metrics to maximize return on investment (ROI), advertisers can quickly identify the campaign elements that will drive both viewability and impact now while the campaign is still running, not later when the campaign’s concluded and those dollars have been spent. Advertisers can then take these learnings and apply them to the next campaign, and the next, over time, building best practices for maximizing viewable brand lift that are custom to that particular brand. If knowing is half the battle, reliable measurement is definitely the other half.


Our ZEDO platform allows for real time changes in running campaigns, and every measurement we can apply to maximize the effectiveness of our high impact native digital video formats is welcome.