Let's Talk About Food

Acquire wants to see an online advertising supply chain that is clean, pure, transparent, and efficient to deliver digital advertising that centres around the client.

Just like a Michelin star chef who carefully picks and chooses their ingredients, we at Acquire not only have strict quality controls in place but also work with the best tools and sous chefs in the industry to deliver a product that is of a consistently high standard and outstanding quality, every single time.

Online Advertising experienced rapid growth without a clearly defined plan and drew parallels to the Industrial Agricultural. The Agricultural industry also started with the right intentions to supply nutritious food to a growing population. Still, mass production techniques created widespread consequences for the environment and nutrient value of the produce. Consumers, chefs, and farmers saw there was a problem and quickly established a movement, "Farm to Plate," creating transparency of how food is grown and brought consumers closer to their food supply.

Like Industrial Agricultural, Online Advertising started with good intentions, to show engaging ads to the right consumers online. However, over the years, many unplanned consequences have risen, such as vanity metrics, walled gardens, hidden fees, privacy issues, fraud, and bots.

Acquire believes there needs to be a commitment to cleaning up the advertising supply chain and a movement like the "Farm to Plate' which ensures the advertiser is always at the centre. We are committed to a supply chain that is transparent and accountable to the client.

Acquire offers greater transparency by challenging vanity metrics, specifying clear set viewability standards, verifying performance not only through actual sales/analytics but also building attribution models that fit your product lifecycle, analytics and dashboard reporting, and working with industry-leading brand safety vendors. Accountability throughout all our services, clear set KPIs, and better ROAS by implementing less wastage through quality inventory, handpicking private marketplace deals, whitelisting and better targeting.

Brand advertisers deserve a movement like the "Farm to Plate," which puts them at the centre of their advertising supply chain.

Creative that’ll unlock GOLD!

What stops people from skipping ads?
3 lessons from industry leaders

The YouTube “skip” button is a powerful tool for measuring advertising engagement. If it goes unpressed, you know you’ve truly captured people’s attention. But how do you ensure that happens?

Google asked creatives and advertisers what stops them from skipping ads. Their tips could help make your next ad unskippable!

Find out more

Native Advertising Progression

Native advertising revenue continues to grow each quarter with the latest IABNZ 2017 Q4 figures showing $5.5m, rising to a 13% share of total Display advertising.

Native advertising has come a long way since its inception. Initially native was reduced mostly to content discovery widgets and now we're seeing more and more in-feed native ad units across sites.

Native advertising is a tool to reach a wider audience that do not otherwise response to banner advertising.

What's Native?

A native ad blends seamlessly into the content of a publisher's page or app. Native adopts the style, location (often in-feed or embedded within other editorial or page content itself), and voice of the publisher's content. It encourages user-led "discovery" engagement.

Native ads are cross-environment, serving on mobile app, mobile web, and desktop websites.

Key difference from normal Display Ads:

The key difference between normal display ads and native ads is that the publisher is responsible for the creative layout and the advertisers just provide the components, (eg. Images, text, logos, video and so on). The publisher decides how to arrange these assets, designing them to fit both the available space and the surrounding content, whether it appears on their website or in a mobile app.

Key Benefits of Native:

  • Higher Engagement - Engage users with relevant content. Native ads often see up to 5-8x higher CTRs than banner ads
  • Reduces potential 'banner blindness' - creative is often in-feed & 'Native' to the Platform
  • Increase awareness, leads and sales.
  • Seamless Integration- Native creative is responsive and fits the layout of the sites and devices (mobile and desktop) in which it is served.
  • Creative Flexibility - Options to make shift changes in creatives when penetration and performance starts to drop.
  • Reach amongst Publishers
    o For example, Outbrain has access to Stuff.co.nz and the large audience population the publication commands, Taboola has access to Mediaworks (Newshub) & MSN, Yahoo has the Yahoo platform which commands a very heavy female skewed audience, Stackadpt focuses on Mobile native inventory and Google Native is an extension of DBM and has a very large sitelist.
  • Large variety of Targeting Options - Contextual, 3rd Party, Geo Targeting, Behavioral, Demographic, Device, engagement tracking
  • Native ads are often bought on a CPC basis - whilst you can receive good branding/awareness, you only pay for that Audience who are interested enough in your product or service, to click.

Recommendations for Native Ads:

  • 2-3 images and 3-4 different Ad copy variations per url.
  • Be specific with your title to attract the right audienc
  • A strong call to action
  • Clearly setup user expectations - eg. If you want the user to view your video use the word "watch"
  • Uncluttered and engaging Landing pages

Examples of Native Advertising:

Key Takeouts:

  • Ensure your vendor meets the IABNZ standards - Clearly labels your content as paid advertising
  • Make sure your vendor has the flexibility to run across multiple platforms
  • Create interest not interruption - entertaining and educating content
  • Supply multiple headlines and images so creative can be shifted swiftly and optimised.
  • Ensure that Blacklists are run, so irrelevant and underperforming sites are excluded
  • Each Native Specs Change - different Publishers have different formats
  • Ensure that your landing-page content delivers on the Native Ad's promise.

For further information click here to read 'Going Native' Whitepaper

Native Advertising Ad Specs.


How probable is the “opportunity to see” any advertising? How reflective are the media consumption metrics compared to the reality of media consumption? For instance, even if TV ratings shifted to second-by-second statics do we really know if people are paying attention or ignoring the advertising?

Since Acquire Online started tracking online advertising with MOAT from October 2015, we have analyzed 700M+ banner ad impressions across an extensive array of ad (appearance) serving and banner (touch) engagement metrics.

The MOAT system helps advertisers measure whether people see and engage with online ads at a publisher (URL) domain, browser and device level. This is especially pertinent given growing concerns over viewability, fraud and brand safety. It’s efficacy as an advertising measurement tool is reflected on the fact that it works with some big names including Nestle, Uniliever, Facebook, ESPN and Snapchat.


With data from MOAT, we have completely changed how we value and buy inventory. Through MOAT we are confronting some fundamental questions:

  • Is the viewer a person or a bot?
  • Was the ad placed on a page in time to see?
  • Did the user touch the advertisement with a cursor or finger?
  • How long was that ad viewable?
  • How fast or slow are people scrolling through websites?
  • Are people hovering on the ad but not clicking?

There has been a history of dismissing viewability & engagement tracking in favour of performance (CPL or CPA) campaigns. However, while performance campaigns are optimised to end goal, we know from attribution tracking that better online viewable inventory has a direct influence on future conversion actions being taken.

MOAT delivers quarterly benchmarks for various countries. New Zealand benchmarks should be used by media and creative agencies to set expectations for ad campaign objectives for key metrics such as viewability and engagement...as well as CPM, CTR, CPC & CPA. Having all objectives in mind when organizing a campaign (building whitelists & blacklists, selecting devices & ISPs, choosing creative type etc.) will significantly improve online trading tactics.

There is no better research on publishers than the insights achievable from online viewability and engagement tracking tools like MOAT, as almost every ad impression can be monitored versus a small sample of ads.

All online advertisers should track online advertising to:

  • Ensure that good publishers are rewarded with higher CPMs.
  • Remove the worst publishers with blacklists.
  • Ensure Brands have full visibility on the sites their ads appear.
  • Reduce budget wastage by optimising on good creatives and engaged audiences.
  • Decrease invalid traffic by significantly minimising bot influence (i.e. increase targeting on real people engaging with your ads)
  • Understand how users are engaging with your banner creative through heat mapping.
  • Help publishers to understand the relationship between their audiences and advertising appearing on their pages (vs their competition).

WHAT DO WE KNOW? (Desktop Benchmarks Q2 New Zealand from MOAT)

The MOAT benchmark from Q2 can give us a NZ perspective on performance for banner advertising on desktop devices. These metrics and an explanation on each follows:

  • 97.8% In-View Measurable Rate. The percentage of impressions where viewability-related metrics were measured. It is calculated as the number of In-View Measurable Impressions divided by the number of Impressions Analyzed.
  • 61.9% On-Screen Rate. The percentage of impressions where at least one pixel of the ad was in-view with focus.
  • 53.3% In-View Rate. Percentage of impressions where at least 50% of an ad was In-View for at least one continuous second. If the ad is as large or larger in area than 970x250 (eg. 300x1050 or 970x418), then it only needs to have 30% of its area In-View.

But, what happened to the impressions not in-view?

  • 2.8% Universal Interaction Rate. Percentage of impressions where a user entered the frame of the ad and remained active for at least 0.5 seconds.
  • 28.7s In-View Time. The length of time an ad has been active and In-View.
  • 6.9% Screen Real Estate. The average percentage of pixels that the ad fills on the user's screen. This is calculated by taking the ratio of ad pixels to device screen pixels for all measurable impressions.
  • 15.1s 50% On-Screen Time. The average length of time that at least 50% of an ad has been on-screen.
  • 58.2% 50% On-Screen Rate. The percentage of impressions where the ad surface was at least 50% on-screen for any period of time. For ads that are 242,500 square pixels or more, the ad only needs to have 30% of its area on-screen.
  • 48.9% 80% On-Screen for 1 Sec Rate. The percentage of impressions where the ad surface was at least 80% on-screen for one continuous second.
  • 44.0% 1 Sec Fully On-Screen Rate. Percentage of impressions where the ad surface was 100% on-screen for at least one second continuously.
  • 50.3% Fully On-Screen Rate (No Time Minimum). Percentage of impressions where the ad surface was 100% on-screen for any period of time.
  • 37.0% Human and 2 Sec Fully On-Screen Rate. The percentage of measurable impressions where the ad surface was 100% on-screen for at least two seconds continuously.
  • 6.95% Out of Focus Rate. Impressions served into a backgrounded or minimized tab.
  • 36.68% Out of Sight Rate. Impressions had no pixels visible on screen.
  • 5.31% missed opportunity (area) rate. Impressions partially visible on screen but did not meet the 50% pixels requirement.
  • 5.40% Missed Opportunity (Time) Rate. Impressions had 50% of their pixels visible on screen, but not for a full second.
  • 53.3% Human and Viewable Rate. The percentage of measurable impressions that were viewable under the MRC standard and were delivered to humans.
  • 52.6% Human and Fully On-Screen or Large Ad Rate. The percent of impressions where the ad surface was 100% on-screen for any period of time or was as large or larger than 970x250 (eg. 300x1050 or 970x418) and was delivered to a human.
  • 9.4s Universal Interaction Time. Average length of time the user interacted with the ad.
  • 9.4% Hover Rate. The percentage of impressions resulting in a user hovering on an ad.
  • 67.1% Scroll Rate. Percentage of impressions where the user scrolled.
  • 29.0% Attention Quality. Ratio of users that converted from hovering to interacting.
  • 54.8s Active Page Dwell Time. Average length of time the user was on the page with the window in-focus.
  • 0.8% IVT Rate. The percentage of total unfiltered impressions that were determined to be delivered to a non-human end point. This includes General IVT (Spiders, Excessive Activity, and/or Data Center Traffic categories) and Sophisticated IVT (Invalid Proxy, Automated Browser, and/or Incongruous Browser Traffic categories).


There is no escaping that digital advertising is growing. According to Dentsu Aegis Network’s (DAN) Ad Spend Forecast (June 2017), digital’s share of ad spend is set to surpass television’s for the first time (37.6% against 35.9%), totaling NZD$313.8 billion. Not only that, but within digital, programmatic (automated ad buying) is set to grow by 25.4%. As DAN CEO Jeery Buhlmann says brands must be ready to embrace advertising innovation as new technologies become available and “ensure that they remain relevant by creating new value for their consumers.”

So, what does this mean for a research agency?

At the analysis and reporting side, it means the agency can have a greater understanding into consumer behavior and interaction with a brand. Are rural customers not able to load ads because the creative is too complex for their internet speed? And is that why their awareness of a new product line so low? Are urban commuters scrolling past an ad because it’s too text heavy as they are scanning through the news during their morning commute? Could that be why they find the ads annoying and feel more negatively towards a brand? Understanding these factors along with the insights gained from market research will give a deeper level of knowledge into a brand’s ecosystem and in turn allow them to deliver stronger and more refined recommendations to clients in an advertising world that growing ever more complex, fast-pace and evolving.

Data from: