The Pitfalls of Programmatic Advertising

By Celtra


In a recent article titled, “Forget Viewability: Your Ads Aren’t Serving”, Bennet Rosenblatt, Uber’s Rider Display Marketing Lead, describes some of the pitfalls of programmatic advertising, including the challenges around viewability and the need for more transparency throughout the ecosystem.

Uber has big plans for programmatic rich media. However, before committing more resources and launching significantly scaled campaigns, Uber partnered with Celtra’s Creative Management Platform (CMP).  The Celtra CMP allowed Uber to make, deploy, manage and measure the performance of rich media mobile ads.

The results and insights were surprising. “Something was wrong. [Uber was] buying significant inventory across well-known, major exchanges, but it was as if [their] ads weren’t being served at all.”  In fact, Uber discovered that the load rate was only 50%.  While researching the issue, Uber found that many vendors in the ecosystem, especially supply-side platforms (SSP’s) were unaware that a problem even existed. Others had a policy of not sharing crucial information, such as the percentage of ads that were successfully served and which inventory included rich versus static calls.

Rosenblatt’s experience and newfound knowledge led him to write the article in order to convey four main points:

  • Programmatic advertisers must educate themselves about load rates
  • Viewability, and the way it has been reported, has only served to mask the problem
  • Transparency is vitally important to understanding campaign performance
  • Major exchanges need to take “their duty to advertisers seriously” and address problems, such as MRAID compatibility, load rates, validating inventory and more.

Until then, Uber will only work with exchanges that are proactive in these areas and take accountability for providing advertisers the value they expect.

We look forward to continuing our learnings and contributions to Uber’s Digital advertising results.

Read the article >

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