NEWS22 June 2023

Increased ad engagement reduces carbon emissions, study finds

Features Media North America Sustainability

US – There is a positive correlation between sustainable advertising practices and positive attention metrics, according to research from media investment and intelligence company Magna and advertising firm Oracle.

Sustainable finance abstract image

The study analysed more than one billion impressions across 55 countries through live campaign tracking and further stress-tested findings by using artificial intelligence-based predictive eye tracking on approximately 350 display adverts that appeared on 100 US websites.

The resulting analysis showed that a spot that was in view for 10 seconds produced 64% less carbon emissions than a spot with a five-second, in-view time.

The Scope3 carbon emissions model, which calculates the total grams of carbon dioxide released from digital impression delivery, was the standard measurement used for the study.

The results meant that eliminating impressions that do not comply with Media Ratings Council standards, such as video and display ads that run below the page break and are out of view, would reduce carbon emissions generated by online advertising by 6%.

Higher engagement scores also correlated with lower emissions, with ads ranking in the first quartile yielding 20% higher engagement scores and 83% lower emissions compared to advertisements in the lowest quartile.

On mobile devices, the study found a 34% drop in carbon emissions for static ads than animated, and a 16% fall on desktops.

Martin Bryan, global head of sustainability at IPG Mediabrands, said: “Sustainability is a vitally important facet of our business model, and this research reveals how we can foster more environmentally friendly practices in the advertising industry without sacrificing attention metrics.

“Often, what makes sense for our planet and its people turns out to be good for business. This study shows a way advertisers can be more sustainable and successful, too.”

Jim Sink, GVP of partnerships at Oracle Advertising, said: “This research provides further rationale for advertisers to optimise toward attention signals like those offered by Oracle Moat as these signals not only improve campaign targeting, but also reduce a campaign’s carbon footprint.”