In an industry obsessed with measurements and still looking for the next thing to drive the ever-more elusive (and more-than-ever unqualified) ‘click’, an article on Brand Republic caught my eye today as it was claiming a Eureka! moment for online advertising.

Nationwide quadruples click-through with adaptive media push

Now I for one welcome technological pushes and personalisation within advertising, but I have serious concerns with the justification here. Now at first read, it has the potential for sounding a very compelling execution, but I am not convinced this is any more then media fluff, mixed in with innovation for innovations sake.

For example, I love the way “response” metrics and mentioned in the same vein as “branding” metrics. Can anyone prove that one actually leads to the other in this instance? Were there any actual conversions measured online to give it some substance? What were these quadruple clicks measured against – one adaptive ad against same creative that is non-adaptive?

Video as a branding medium, does not always equal ‘clicks’ – there is evidence to the contrary – nor should its effectiveness be measured as such, clicks after all are a response-based, not a brand-based metric. The brand recall stats quoted do not even quantify themselves against anything other than themselves.

So we have 16,000 adaptive adverts being used to both quadruple click-thru rates as well as shift brand awareness, but measured against what? Furthermore, for a client pushing online offers, what about the real deal where the rubber really hits the road – what about the conversions?

If I am going to excite a client with evidence, I want them to see the real power of shifting ROI for them, not getting them to be bought into this aged concept that clicks = conversions. There is a long way between the two and from conversations I am having right now, something they have long since suspected but have, like the rest of us, been hood-winked into accepting in this new era of advertising effectiveness.

Yes we need to innovate and push boundaries, but 12 years in to all this, there is a real need for us in the industry to intelligently argue the power of digital advertising, without quoting unqualified statistics that blind us all with science.