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Video Ad Fraud 101 by Augustine Fou Technical Forensics

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Video ad fraud is also running rampant, because video CPMs and CPVs are more than 10x more expensive than display ads. Bad guys are deploying their botnets to create video ad views in order to siphon off ad dollars from unsuspecting brand advertisers.

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Video Ad Fraud 101 by Augustine Fou Technical Forensics

  1. 1. Video Ad Fraud 101 Dr. Augustine Fou acfou [at] February 2014 -1- Augustine Fou
  2. 2. Why Now? “As more ad inventory is bought and sold programmatically on ad exchanges, bad guys are finding it far easier to commit fraud because few agencies and advertisers actually check in detail the hundreds of thousands of sites on which the ads are run. It’s easier to hide in a far larger haystack.” -- Dr. Augustine Fou -2- Augustine Fou
  3. 3. Real-Time Bidding Real-Time Bidding to Account for 25% of DisplayAd Spending by 2015: eMarketer -3- Augustine Fou
  4. 4. Types of Ad Fraud Impressions Clicks Leads Sales (CPM fraud) (CPC fraud) (CPL fraud) (CPA fraud) Bot or low wage workers fill in lead forms with real addresses and get paid bounty per lead. Fake sites set up to do cookie stuffing or trick users to click on affiliate links to earn rev share. (CPV for video) Botnets generate fake pageviews which produce ad impression “inventory” that is sold into ad exchanges. -4- Bots type search queries to bring up search ads and then click on the ads to earn share of CPC. Augustine Fou
  5. 5. How Video Ad Fraud (Cost per View) Works -5- Augustine Fou
  6. 6. Bad Guys Put Up Sites site = analyzecanceradvice .com site = 19 blocked ads on page -6- Augustine Fou
  7. 7. Autoplay Video Ads Multiple video ads auto-played simultaneously on the same page. -7- Augustine Fou
  8. 8. Autoplay (4) Ads Multiple video ads autoplayed back to back with no user intervention. -8- Augustine Fou
  9. 9. Autoplay Video Takeover Autoplayed T-mobile video ad in full page takeover. -9- Augustine Fou
  10. 10. Use Botnets to Create Views Source: Wired Source: Google Digital Attack Map - 10 - Augustine Fou
  11. 11. Traffic Firehose On/Off Source: Alexa Legit human traffic does not change rapidly; but bot traffic (firehose) can be rapidly turned off and directed to other sites. - 11 - Augustine Fou
  12. 12. Normal vs Fake Traffic FAKE traffic is the same across several sites (corresponds to what was purchased) Normal traffic differs from site to site - 12 - Augustine Fou
  13. 13. Video Ad Impressions 50 - 77% fraudulent, autoplay, wasted, not-in-view Source: Vindico via Adweek, December 15, 2013 eMarketer: Digital Video Ad Spend est. $4B in 2013 • Advanced bots are programmed to load video ads and wait till they are counted as “views” before leaving the page • Video ads have 10x the CPM compared with display ads, and are therefore a prime target for „bad guys‟ - 13 - Augustine Fou
  14. 14. Video Ad Views Exploded Surge in views probably not due to more humans Source: comScore, Jan 2014 via MarketingCharts - 14 - Augustine Fou
  15. 15. Digital Video Ad Spend Source: eMarketer, May 2013 Digital video ad spend continues to rise rapidly as more TV ad dollars shift to digital. Because video CPMs are so much more lucrative, it is more lucrative for bad guys too. - 15 - Augustine Fou
  16. 16. Video Ads Are Lucrative Video ad CPMs are $8 $12, which means they are more than 10X more lucrative than display or mobile ads. Source: Turn, Inc. October 2013 - 16 - Augustine Fou
  17. 17. Video Ad Viewability A new study [download page] from VideoHub indicates that during the first quarter, average viewability for online video ads in the US was 83%, although rates varied widely among properties, from 43% on the low end to 94% on the high end. Broadcast TV sites fared best (89% on average) among property categories, with networks and exchanges (73%) bringing up the rear. Source: VideoHub August 2013 via MarketingCharts - 17 - Augustine Fou
  18. 18. Video Ad (CPV) Fraud Video Ads 35 billion video ad impressions /mo 40% Source: Vindico, 2013 estimated fake views ~$8 - $12 cost per thousand $1-2 billion wasted ad spend (annualized) - 18 - Augustine Fou
  19. 19. What Advertisers Can/Should Do - 19 - Augustine Fou
  20. 20. Areas of Optimization 30% 40% 30% - 20 - targeting improving optimization delivery viewability bots /not seen by humans waste reduction Augustine Fou
  21. 21. Low Hanging Fruit The most immediate, direct impact on ROI comes from reducing waste 25% On-Target Delivery (Nielsen) 54% Not In View (comScore) 82% Ignored (Harris Interactive) 23% Ad Blocked (PageFair) 24 – 29% confirmed bot (Solve Media) - 21 - Augustine Fou
  22. 22. Digital Ad Forensics Process Preliminary Scan Sizing of ad fraud Forensic Analysis Maintenance • Technology Tools • Statistical analysis • Budget shifts • Further optimization Implementation FREE $$$ Preliminary analysis of paid campaigns and analytics to determine magnitude of the ad fraud impacting client. Creating recommended list of changes, including list of sites to exclude in each ad channel. - 22 - $ Subscribe to triangulated, cross-industry database of “ad fraud offenders” to continuously update blacklists and whitelists. Augustine Fou
  23. 23. Related Articles Digital Ad Fraud Briefing By: Augustine Fou December 2013 Fake YouTube Videos By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 Ad Fraud Fighting Techniques By: Augustine Fou October 2013 Fake Linkedin Profiles By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 How Display Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, May 2013 Fake Facebook Profiles By: Augustine Fou, Dec 2013 How Click Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 Fake Twitter Accounts By: Augustine Fou, August 2013 The Magnitude of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 An Ecosystem of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, October 2013 - 23 - Augustine Fou
  24. 24. Dr. Augustine Fou – Technical Forensics “I advise clients on optimizing advertising across all channels. One main area of focus is reducing ad waste due to fraud – fake impressions, clicks, leads, and sales – which produces immediate ROI.” FORMER CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, HCG (OMNICOM) MCKINSEY CONSULTANT CLIENT SIDE / AGENCY SIDE EXPERIENCE PROFESSOR AND COLUMNIST ENTREPRENEUR / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER PHD MATERIALS SCIENCE (MIT '95) AT AGE 23 ClickZ Articles: Slideshares: LinkedIn: - 24 - @acfou Augustine Fou