In the first installment of what will become our ‘Digital Ad of the Week,’ I want to talk briefly about something we’ve spent our time getting our heads around, the Digital Ad Space.

Sure, researchers/advertisers/brands have all been testing and evaluating digital advertising for years, but the world of digital advertising has been changing. And it continues to change so much that it seems almost too challenging to attack in a systematic way, too difficult to quantify and legitimately measure. However, that’s exactly what our clients are asking for. With the current uptick in digital ad spend, a way to systematically and legitimately measure the effectiveness of digital ad initiatives is becoming top of mind for advertisers. This challenge has lead us in the direction of first figuring out how to quantify the space itself, despite it’s changing nature.

We’ve done this by developing the Digital Advertising Taxonomy, a way to categorize each element of all digital ads. I could spend a lot time walking you through every detail here but that would take too long. So if you want more information let us know.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s begin by taking a look at it, before I tell you why you should care.


The reason we have found this tool to be so helpful is that by quantifying what we are looking at in each and every ad, we now know what tools to use to evaluate it. We can analyze each ad’s effectiveness based specifically on its objectives and the design employed to create it. Everyone would agree that not all digital ads are created with the same intentions, or using the same programming glitz, so why test them all the same way? A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for digital advertising, the web’s ability to emulate nearly all traditional media is proof of that considering we employ different tools for each of those.

Now that you’ve got the background, next time we can start using this tool to categorize ads we find and discuss why quantifying ads this way will lead us to better insights about your digital initiatives.

Abby Puccini, Associate Research Director