The Basics of Brand Safety and Viewability for Digital Video Ad Campaigns

11.17.2022 Sara Brasfield3 min

When businesses invest their money into ad campaigns, they want to be confident that they’re getting what they paid for. While ad performance results will always vary, digital platforms and providers can offer assurances of their ad quality through policies, safeguards, and transparent insights covering their ad inventory and ad delivery methods.

As your business evaluates its advertising options, you need to understand how your advertising partners are helping ensure brand safety and viewability of your digital ads. Specifically, digital video ad placement across platforms and devices such as pre-roll, streaming, display, and more.

Some ad partners and platforms may not want to be transparent about this process, and others may have inadequate standards and protocols in place to ensure your business is getting the quality of ad service it deserves.

Have questions about brand safety and ad viewability, and how these terms relate to your ad performance? Here are three things you need to know.

What is Brand Safety and Viewability?

Brand safety and ad viewability are important terms that every business should know when funding ad campaigns online. The two terms are also related to one another in how they affect the overall value of your advertising investments.

Brand safety refers to the protective measures taken to make sure your brand’s ads aren’t associated with inappropriate or otherwise negative content. While digital ads are inserted into a wide range of ad inventories based on how those ad spots can reach your target audience, businesses can suffer unwanted brand damage if their ads are displayed in the wrong place.

A common example of poor brand safety is if when a company’s ads are displayed alongside distasteful content, but many different brand safety issues may arise depending on your business. Some of the top brand safety concerns for businesses, according to a survey by eMarketer, include ad placements alongside news reports of humanitarian disasters and other tragedies, as well as ad insertion alongside divisive political content and/or fake news websites.

Another common brand safety concern is the presence of malware on websites or in the advertising assets used by a business. If consumers acquire malware on their devices and associate this malware with your brand’s advertising, it can have a negative impact on your business.

Viewability, meanwhile, refers to the rate at which ads displayed on a website or in another form of digital content are seen by the user. An ad placed at the bottom of a web page, for example, might be delivered to the web page but never seen by the user, which doesn’t generate any value for your business. Viewability refers to both the placement and prominence of the ad, as well as the amount of time the ad is visible to the end user.

Brand Safety and Viewability’s Impact On Local Business Advertising

The ROI impact of video ad viewability is fairly simple: if an ad isn’t viewed by a consumer, or if the view is too brief or too poor in quality, the ad’s ability to drive engagement, brand awareness and other advertising goals can be severely compromised.

As a result, businesses whose ad campaigns don’t have verified viewability are likely to see poor ad engagement numbers, and a poor return on their campaign investment.

At the same time, a stronger emphasis on brand safety—and improved brand safety risk management through your advertising platforms—can reduce your exposure to advertising risk and cut spending on ad exposures where the risk is out of balance with the reward.

In one case study covered by IAB, one business applied improved pre-bid brand safety guidelines and reduced its rate of risky ad impressions from 11.7 percent to only 1.2 percent. This eliminated spending on more than 3.8 million risky ad impressions.

How Cox Media Ensures Brand-Safe Viewability for Your Ads

Understanding the potential pitfalls and risks of digital advertising is only half the battle when it comes to protecting your ad investment. Your business also needs to take steps to make sure your ads are getting quality human views in a brand-safe environment.

Fortunately, this is one of the key benefits of choosing Cox Media as your advertising partner. We take an active role in ensuring brand-safe ad delivery and viewability across all digital video channels by:

  1. Ensuring your ads are viewable, prioritizing the placement of your ads and implementing verification tags to protect against fraudulent views with Google’s Digital & Video 360 solution. When delivering ads via Amazon DSP, we benefit from the platform’s Media Rating Council accreditation that validates ad measurement, ensuring quality ad delivery and view metrics your business can trust.
  2. Ensuring your ads are served in brand-safe environments, away from undesirable or off-brand content.
  3. Ensuring our partners abide by industry standards, guidelines, and policies

The right partners can make all the difference for your video advertising efforts. Including those mentioned above, our partners leverage sophisticated technologies including cryptography and artificial intelligence that help bidding software automatically identify abnormalities in supply paths. These checks are performed before bids are placed to identify up front whether inventory is incorrect, spoofed or fraudulent.

Don’t put your brand’s ad performance at risk by failing to account for brand safety and viewability. Cox Media’s advertising experts will make sure your business is covered in this department. Contact us today to get started.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is a Marketing Manager on Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than nine years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the office, Sara loves spending time running, reading, and supporting her favorite sports teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

View All of Sara Brasfield's Blog Posts

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