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Google Offers TV-Like Viewable Impressions, Ratings Technology

Google joins the list of online ad venue that is “chasing TV ad dollars” (as AllThingsD describes it).

Just like streaming video giant Hulu announced yesterday (April 17), Google introduced technologies to enable campaign reporting based on viewable impressions and Gross Rating Points or GRPs, a TV metric. Compared to digital metrics, GRPs are crude, but they are “still the preferred currency for most ad buyers and sellers, who find them simple and effective,” writes AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka. The uptake: Google wants some of those TV ad dollars, and is competing by offering TV-like metrics.

Neil Mohan, Google’s VP of Display Advertising sees display advertising as an emerging landscape, much like early TV. “In the 1950s, brands moved slowly to TV,” he wrote on the AdWordsAgency blog spot early this morning. “Once major brands could see who they were reaching and what impact their campaigns were having, they fully embraced the medium, creating a multi-billion dollar industry…and TV’s golden age began.”

Google introduced the Brand Activate Initiative to “re-imagine online measurement for brand marketers,” Mohan described. “We're partnering with the industry and supporting the IAB's Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) coalition. We believe that the industry’s significant investment in brand measurement efforts can substantially grow the online advertising pie, for all.”

With Active View, advertisers can count “viewed” impressions (as defined by the IAB’s proposed standard—a display ad that is at least 50% viewable on the screen for at least one second). Active View will be available in coming weeks within Google Display Network Reserve. Google will make this metric a “universal currency” by offering it within DoubleClick for Advertisers, and to publisher partners. “Active View data will be immediately actionable,” describes Mohan. “Advertisers will be able to pay only for viewed impressions.”

Active GRP emulates the offline GRP, which is used for example to measure a fashion brand TV ad with a goal of reaching 2 million women with two ads each. The advertiser can work those impressions into a contract with a guarantee. Active GRP is built right into the ad serving tools that publishers and marketers use already, and will enable real-time decision making. So, advertisers can make adjustments to campaigns at the speed of the web. “We’ve kicked off a pilot program for DoubleClick for Advertisers clients as a first step,” writes Mohan, and will roll it out to other products in the near term.

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