NEW YORK: Kellogg, the food group, could save almost $2m in wasted digital ad spending in the US this year by further reducing its already impressively low invalid traffic levels (IVT).

The costs of IVT include not only wasted ad impressions, but also lowered viewability, skewed campaign results and depressed ROI, and the company has worked closely with its media agency to achieve IVT levels below what is considered an acceptable industry standard.

It has also worked with measurement business comScore to test entire ad buying regimes against each other in order to understand the advertising ecosystem and found that one buying regime, which took a programmatic approach, had an ROI six times better than the other methods tested.

And working once more with comScore – and DMP Krux – it sought to deliver even lower IVT levels on the premium sites it uses.

To do this, comScore and Krux had to teach the ad server to avoid individual invalid users and only deliver to humans, a process that required granular reporting of key validation metrics – including invalid traffic, viewability, geography and engagement – for every impression delivered.

With this data Krux was able to pinpoint users associated with invalid activity and add them to a suppression list applied to Kellogg's ad serving on a daily basis, so ensuring that no ads would be delivered to these invalid users from any Kellogg campaign.

After the initial setup, this process was fully automated to create what comScore described as "an IVT-minimisation technique that continuously optimises toward quality" – and a potential saving of $2m this year.

"Krux and comScore have partnered to develop an innovative defence against non-human traffic that has translated into ROI for Kellogg," said Amaya Garbayo, Associate Director, North America Media, Kellogg Company.

Kellogg has also previously demonstrated how the viewability of digital advertising has an enormous effect on sales. In research that took ads 50% in view as a base, it showed that for ads that were 55% viewed, there was an immediate 18% rise in effectiveness – defined as how many boxes of cereal were shifted for every thousands impression in the marketplace.

When the viewability moved up to 65%, effectiveness registered a 41% lift, and when at least 70% of the digital ad was visible, there was a 68% improvement in the ability of that campaign to move boxes of cereal off the shelf.

Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff