It’s no secret by now that Google is going squarely after the kind of image advertising done by large marketers on television and in slick magazines–no wonder, since it’s about a $300 billion market worldwide largely untouched by Google and other Web companies. One big reason it hasn’t moved online very much: a lack of good measurement of the kind brand advertisers use on TV.
That could soon change, thanks to a deal Google announced today with the ad measurement firm comScore. Google and comScore said they’ve agreed upon a way to measure the impact of ad campaigns in real time on desktop display and video ads in the U.S., with plans for extending the metrics to mobile and across multiple screens at some point.
Eventually, the goal is to provide a way to measure campaigns across online and TV in largely the same way. “More actionable, open and transparent measurement will help bring more great campaigns and brands online, which in turn helps to fund web services and content,” Neal Mohan, Google’s VP of display advertising, said in a blog post and during a speech at the online ad trade group IAB’s annual leadership meeting in Palm Desert, Calif.
Specifically, comScore’s vCE system, for validated Campaign Essentials, will be built into Google’s broad DoubleClick software that advertisers and publishers use to buy and place online ads. That could take several months while the companies test out the system. Both companies are looking to cement vCE as a standard way to measure ad impact across all media by seeking accreditation from the Media Ratings Council, a key arbiter of ad measurement.
A little background from Mohan’s post:
In TV, marketers use the concept of a Gross Rating Point (GRP), by which they measure the reach and frequency of their campaigns among different demographics. For digital campaigns, there are a number of options for marketers wanting a digital GRP across screens. For example, last year, we started testing comScore vCE (validated Campaign Essentials) and Nielsen OCR (Online Campaign Ratings) for campaigns on YouTube and across our network.
While we’re excited by the efforts in the industry to introduce GRPs to the digital market, we believe we haven’t yet reached the full potential of this metric. And so today, we’re excited to announce that we’re taking another step forward by partnering with comScore to turn vCE into a digitally actionable metric.
By working closely with comScore and the industry, we believe we can make a GRP metric that will be completely actionable: both advertisers and publishers will be able to see if a campaign is reaching the right audience in real time and make adjustments if it isn’t. No more waiting days or weeks for reports, no more wasted media, no more missed opportunities. This objective, third-party vCE metric is being built directly into our DoubleClick ad serving products, where it can serve as a transparent currency for both marketers and publishers to buy, sell and measure ad space across sites, formats and screens.
That’s the promise, anyway. But agencies and marketers move slowly. So while this step to provide real-time feedback on ads is an important one, Google’s pursuit of television and other brand advertising riches won’t be a real-time affair.
While you wait for that to happen, here’s an example of the kind of brand advertising Google hopes to get more of online: