Video impressions and Google’s new analytic

Measuring behaviour

Over the last couple of months Google have released, for a limited group, a resource that enables advertisers to track un-clicked video adverts. They have integrated analytics with the Google Display Network (GDN) allowing them to breakdown the behaviour of someone who sees a video thumbnail, but doesn’t actually click on the video.


For example, when we ran ‘Project Pygmalion’ we achieved nearly 200,000 impressions for the company. If any of those impressions lead to someone visiting the website, this new analytic would show it.


The thinking behind recording ‘un-clicked’ video user behaviour is that even if a person doesn’t watch the video, at least they’ve been exposed to the brand. The video thumbnail is effectively acting much in the same way as a print, online or a billboard advert.

A recent study in the New York Times stated that we see as many as 5,000 adverts in a day. (Photo by Tom Conger)

A recent study in the New York Times stated that we see as many as 5,000 adverts in a day. (Photo by Tom Conger)

Why we love this idea

We love the idea of this. We’re constantly looking for new ways to illustrate how successful a video advertising campaign is for a company. You would think that Google’s Adwords platform would give a reliable ‘click through’ rate.


However, the figures between Adwords and Analytics often are a mismatch.


Completion rate is another good metric to measure. This shows what percentage of the video viewers have watched. Although this is somewhat limited as only summation as to the effectiveness of the video can be drawn.


Return on investment

Clients want to see a tangible return on investment and so they should. In this digital age of metrics, you’d think that you could provide a whole array of figures to keep everyone happy. The trouble with giving lots of information, is there is always a follow-up question and rarely the information to back up an answer.


This is one of the reasons you seldom watch a good advert on TV that has a call to action. I, for one, have never leapt off my sofa after seeing an advert and bought the product there and then. It’s all about brand exposure, the hardest thing to measure.


The golden formula

A few years back a huge study was carried out by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Companies like Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Colgate-Palmolive invested over a million dollars in finding out how to work out the Return of Investment as a result of advertising. Essentially, in the 2,500 plus page report only three conclusions were reached:

  1. No equation can be written to work out investment vs results.
  2. The message of the advert is related to the adverts success.
  3. Results increase with repetition.

One factor that advertising relies upon is a term known as the mere-exposure effect. This is the belief that people will develop a preference to something because they are familiar with it.


Edward B. Titchener puts it more romantically as a “glow of warmth” which is felt when you’re in the presence of something that is familiar.


Repetition, repetition, repetition…

The thinking is that the more often you see a brand the more familiar that it becomes. One of the main factors that prevent sales, is if the buyer doesn’t know the brand. Some marketeers reference what is termed the ‘rule of seven’ which suggests that a potential client needs to see the brand message seven times before they buy (other marketeers believe it to be a higher number, but the concept remains true).

By utilising online advertising with a strong thumbnail, brands can get out there again and again. Might we add, some platforms don’t even charge you for impressions, only video views…

We cannot wait for this analytic to become more widely available.
Cover photo: Michael J Zealot

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