Ad Collision: Braking Before the Crash

April 24, 2019

Have you ever visited a site and witnessed the same ads displayed multiple times on the same page?

If you’ve found yourself in this scenario, you’re experiencing ad collision. Ad collision is officially defined as a situation when several ads are served in multiple ad slots on the same page without the intention of buying a roadblock.

Stroke of genius or a waste of media dollars? While ad collision may be a good strategy for short-term and high-impact campaign objectives, limiting it is the most efficient option for your campaigns. But how exactly do you curb ad collision?

Reduce Campaign Frequency

Frequency is the largest contributor to high levels of ad collision. By allowing a high frequency, the system is understanding that multiple impressions can be triggered even if they’re on the same page and as long as they stay within established frequency caps. Setting a frequency cap is essential whether it’s set on an hour, day, week or month time frame — although it is recommended to narrow in to the smallest window. Account-level frequency caps may also be available, so check in your UI or work with your platform representatives.

Re-Evaluate Campaign Structure

Ad collision is often a sign of high audience overlap. Creating a hierarchy of audiences to prioritize and then applying audience suppression is key. For instance, your most valuable audience (i.e. similar audience 1-percent affinity) should be excluded from your second-most valuable audience (i.e. similar audience 2-percent affinity) to eliminate overlap and subsequently limit the amount of ad collision.

Exclude High Ad Collision Offenders

Run a placement report to identify which sites are the largest offenders of ad collisions by observing frequency per site. If your platform does not have a site report available in its UI, ask your rep, since many platforms can pull a report on the back end. Often, you can visit pages with high frequency after visiting your client’s site (and thus entering the retargeting pool) to force an ad collision experience.

Severely Limit Creative Sizes

By “limit,” I really mean only run one creative size per campaign. This is not recommended, but can serve as a last resort for a client that wants to significantly reduce the possibility of ad collision. Why does this work? Publishers typically only have one size per page available. By limiting the size of creative, you almost entirely eliminate the possibility of ad collision. However, withholding creative sizes also will negatively impact performance due to the lack of variety in creative options. In addition, inventory will be impacted due to the reduction in bid-to-inventory matches.

Implementing these changes can positively impact the appearance of ad collision, which ultimately saves media budget and supports more efficient performance. Not only will the client benefit, but the end user also benefits from less irritating experiences.

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