With banner ad blindness at an all-time high, there is great potential for native ads to deliver a better experience for consumers and more effective results for advertisers – and Verizon is responding accordingly.

Anita Caras, director of sales insights at Verizon Media, presented the results of a recent study into native advertising to The Big Bang conference in London and outlined how the media owner is looking beyond the tired CTR metric to judge campaign success on a range of other metrics.

Clicks and impressions provide only a partial view of the impact of native advertising, she said, arguing that brands also should consider things like active user engagement, active view time, subconscious associations and brand love score.

The industry agrees: earlier this week the IAB UK ran a National Anti-Click-Through Rate Day, which included sending an open letter to hundreds of advertisers and marketers accusing them of becoming “clickheads” because of their over-reliance on this particular metric.

At the same time, it launched a Measurement Toolkit, bringing together current best practices and providing guidance on measuring digital advertising in the context of other media.

Verizon’s research, based on 1.5 million data points gathered from 60 hours of user interactions with digital properties in the UK, France and Germany, found that 83% felt digital advertising is becoming more intrusive, while half of all those aged between 18 and 24 taking part in the study said they use ad blocker software.

“That’s a significant number of eyeballs that we’re losing because of what we’ve done, and what we continue to do,” Caras said.

But most people accepted advertising as a form of content, and with 79% of respondents agreeing that they would prefer to see ads blending in with the page, she argued that native advertising has the potential to offer a “panacea” for brands seeking brand safe and viewable media environments.

And Caras explained how these user attitudes towards native are shaping the formats running on Verizon brands, including AOL, Yahoo, Tumblr and Huffington Post. (For more, read WARC’s report: Verizon Media ‘reinvents’ native ads with a new approach to measurement.)

“Native is a format that can deliver on many facets,” she said. “Beyond the click we can look at subconscious brand associations that then start to play out in positive behaviours, in engagement, and then how that starts to affect brand affinity and purchase intent. In a premium environment we can take that even higher.”

Sourced from WARC, IAB UK