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Media Words of the Month
Ad Council Ad Council
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York , NY
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Marketing in Today's World

Marketing in Today's World
Having trouble keeping up with the ever-changing digital landscape? Wondering what even half of those words and acronyms actually mean? Our words of the month series is here for you! Every month, we will give you the low- down on what words you should know when it comes to media and advertising, especially as it pertains to social good marketing.
You’ll come for the content, but you’ll stay for the memes.


An online advertising metric to only track impressions seen by users, defined as 50% of the ad in-view for 1 second or more. The current Average Viewability Rate (viewed impressions/total impressions served) is 56%.
You’re probably thinking, “But we want 100%!” 100% viewability is very difficult to achieve (think about how many ads you scroll past, slow ad load times, etc.) and for paying advertisers, you pay top dollar for viewability. For example, a partner with 50% viewability yields a $4CPM (Cost Per Thousand, denotes the price of 1,000 ad impressions) but if you transact only on viewable impressions that CPM can go up to $20+!
Be on the lookout for changes as MRC eyes 100% viewable ad impressions and considers “duration weighting” for video impressions.

Ad Server

The systems that automate the request to fill inventory on a website, as well as tracking delivery and actions taken within the ad unit (impressions, clicks, etc.)
There are two types of ad servers – publisher and advertiser – for our purposes we will focus on advertiser ad servers. Essentially the same technology, advertiser ad servers are a centralized third-party tool that allow advertisers to monitor and manage performance across multiple publishers. Advertisers rely on third party ad servers to track and verify fulfillment (agreed upon number of impressions) rather than relying on publisher’s self-reporting.
The Ad Serving Process 
  1. An internet user visits a website.
  2. Before the page loads, the site pings, the ad server based on details of the ad(s) needed for the page.
  3. The ad server receives the request and selects an ad based on the parameters set by its advertisers.
  4. The page loads with the winning ad.
  5. The ad server tracks performance of the ad- impressions, clicks, etc.

Brand Safety

The practices and tools ensuring an ad will not appear in a context that can damage the advertiser’s brand. This could be an ad published next to, before, or within specific content that advertiser does not want to be associated with. Brands leverage third-party partners to block specific websites and apps, as well as apply a keyword list of terms known as a blacklist to identify non-brand safe content.

Social Good + Brand Safety

While nearly all advertisers worry increasingly about brand safety, internally we’ve struck up a lively debate. How much control we should exert? What is more important-ensuring the right people see our ads, or running ads within content we deem appropriate? If you are using data to target a specific audience for your social good campaign, do you prioritize where they see your ad over reaching the right person?
Let’s look at natural disasters as an example. Majority of brands and advertisers will immediately update their keyword blacklist and prevent their ads from running near any coverage to protect their brand. But this can be a very powerful place to run a “Donate to Support” or “Emergency Preparedness” message.
Please weigh in with your thoughts!

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