Talking viewability with Sublime

Mobile Marketing discusses Sublime’s latest ad innovation with the company’s Global Chief Officer, Andrew Buckman.

Mobile Marketing: Let’s talk about Sublime first Andrew –  how long have you been around and what is your approach to targeting consumers on mobile?

Andrew Buckman: Sublime was founded in 2012 with a premise to enable engaging dialogue between brands and consumers without interrupting the consumer’s online experience. We developed our first mobile format in 2017 with exactly that in mind, and we produce great ads that don’t annoy the person reading the content.

MM: You’ve just launched TopRoll, a new outstream video ad unit, can you explain what it is and how it works please?

AB: TopRoll is an intuitive and viewable ad unit. The ad starts as a video top banner and an icon invites users to discover the ad in full screen mode. As users scroll up, the banner gets progressively bigger, until appearing in full screen to engage audiences. When users scroll down, the banner gets smaller, to offer a non-intrusive mobile experience.

MM: Where did the idea for TopRoll come from?

AB: We’re particularly proud of TopRoll, as it came from an internal competition during the lockdowns in 2020. We had submissions from all the different teams around Sublime and ended up using a combination of a few ideas, which is a great sign of the creativity prevalent in Sublime’s DNA.

MM: What problem does it address?

AB: Sublime’s TopRoll ad unit solves the problem of viewability in outstream video. As the ad pauses when it is no longer viewable, we can guarantee that 100 per cent of completed impressions are viewable, thus ensuring a fully accurate VTR. We believe our new solution is a game-changer for the industry as a whole, and this is how mobile video is going to make a real impact for branding campaigns.

MM: In what way/s does TopRoll play to user privacy and user experience concerns?

AB: As is the case with all Sublime ad formats, TopRoll fully respects the user’s privacy and experience. The user is in front of the screen for the sole purpose of consuming the content on the device and no advertising should ever get in the way of that. Sublime has long been part of the Coalition for Better Ads and bakes privacy and consumer respect into the design of our ad units.

MM: How does it perform in terms of things like viewability and view-through rates?

AB: With this new VAST- and VPAID-compliant solution, compatible with all brands’ video assets, Sublime boasts a viewability rate higher than 90 per cent, and a view-through rate up to 70 per cent for 15 seconds, significantly exceeding the market benchmarks.

MM: Is it best-suited to any particular type of channel (web or in-app, social platforms)?

AB: Sublime TopRoll is an outstream video unit optimised for the mobile web.

MM: How has TopRoll been received by media agencies, advertisers and publishers?

AB: During the design phase and since the beginning of the year, we have held several workshops with creative and media agencies. Their response has been invaluable in the definition of the key aspects of the Sublime TopRoll ad unit. Universally, they love the fact that their customers, the brands, are getting what they pay for, and that the metrics are significantly better than what they are used to.

MM: People have been spending more time on mobile during the pandemic, and inevitably, they have been exposed to more advertising and marketing messages. How does a solution like TopRoll cut through the noise?

AB: TopRoll is the only solution to allow a brand to fully engage with a consumer, using assets that echo their TV campaigns. The toughest challenge for digital advertising since it started over 25 years ago has been to reproduce the emotion and engagement that you get from TV advertising. Six seconds just isn’t enough time to convey an emotion and build rapport between a brand and their target consumer. Sublime’s TopRoll ad unit guarantees that the consumer will see the video, and that they have the time to engage with the message that the brand is portraying.