With almost $15 billion in annual revenue, the Kellogg Company is the world’s leading cereal company; second largest producer of cookies, crackers and savory snacks; and a leading North American frozen foods company.
The costs of invalid traffic (IVT) have taken their toll on the digital media industry through not only wasted ad impressions, but also through lowered viewability, skewed campaign results and depressed ROI. IVT affects the entire advertising ecosystem, and its costs can have a profound impact on media buyers, who lack complete control over the quality of traffic exposed to their ads.
Kellogg has never taken the threat of IVT lightly. As a progressive marketer that has always sought and embraced innovative methods to improve ad delivery, Kellogg has achieved IVT levels far below what is considered acceptable by industry standards. However, Kellogg was convinced that greater improvement was possible – so it set Krux and comScore to the task.
The challenge presented by Kellogg gave comScore and Krux the opportunity to combat the issue of fraud in a new way. Today, even premium sites suffer from sporadic invalid activity. While there are many solutions in the market that help whitelist or blacklist sites, this approach is too blunt for the high-quality properties on Kellogg’s media plan. In order to reduce the impact of invalid activity on these premium sites, comScore and Krux would need to teach the ad server to avoid individual invalid users – and only deliver the campaign to human users.
To do this, Krux fed Kellogg’s impression-level campaign data from comScore vCE®, a holistic ad and audience delivery validation solution, directly into its system. This Impression Level Report, an offering unique to vCE, provides granular reporting of key validation metrics – including invalid traffic, viewability, geography and engagement – for every impression delivered. Using the data from this feed the Krux system was able to automatically pinpoint users associated with invalid activity and add them to a suppression pool. This suppression list was applied to Kellogg’s ad serving on a daily basis, ensuring that no ads would be delivered to these invalid users from any Kellogg campaign.
After the initial setup, this process was fully automated – from the ingestion of the comScore data to the ultimate ad serving – creating an IVT-minimization technique that learns from Kellogg’s campaign delivery and continuously optimizes toward quality audiences.
Krux and comScore have partnered to develop an innovative defense against non-human traffic that has translated into ROI for Kellogg
Through this program, Kellogg is on track to save nearly $2 million in wasted ad spend on US campaigns over the course of a year.
This program had a number of other advantages for Kellogg:
- Full automation of campaign optimization, where previously it would have been a highly-manual process
- Applicability across ad formats and channels, including display, video and mobile
- Reduced threat of invalid traffic on cost-effective programmatic inventory
As the issue of invalid traffic continues to bedevil the advertising ecosystem, media buyers can use this solution to take charge of their ad delivery to improve campaign results. While the industry has come to accept low numbers of invalid traffic on premium content, this program demonstrates that granular IVT suppression can further reduce these numbers – leading to significant cost savings and improved ROI.
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