Viewability – Pay Per Gaze does not resolve Attribution

Google this week have had their patent on the Google Gaze granted. Speculation suggests that combined with Google Glass, the pupil settling on the creative opens up a new cost model in digital advertising, leap-frogging the efforts being pumped into Viewability measurement and suggesting that a gaze could demonstrates interest. In independent newspaper has published this article:

What will we find?

It has been known for many years that the pupil of the human eye dilates beyond a reaction to light but rather offers a clue to an emotional response…

Hieronymus_Bosch's Gaze

..on the shelves of popular science and economics textbooks; Malcolm Gladwell himself offers a chapter in his book “Blink” towards the use of micro emotions, elicited mainly in the face, to display true feelings. At the micro level, controlling such muscle response as pupil dilation is near impossible without professional practice. The ideas come from Paul Ekman’s work on micro emotions published in his book “Emotions Revealed”. The key insight here in relation to the world of Google Gaze is that a dilation response remains a subjective muscle response and is not conclusive enough as a communication method to infer interest on the part of the ad viewer.

The Google Gaze becomes yet another notch on the bed post of the complex world of advertising trading currencies. And these notches will continue to happen so long as the industry continues to seek inference from the ad viewer rather than engaging them in a dialogue which exposes true intent. Google Gaze is not going to see the success of Google Search in this form because there is no declaration of interest on the part of the viewer, which a keyword search term successful captures.

Will a pupil dilation give away a viewers intent to purchase? Where will the advertiser place the Gaze in the attribution pathway but alongside the viewable impression and with such a high cost for Google to determine the effectiveness of a gaze over a view, will it be a cost shouldered in vain? If the margin of view-based attribution between the Gaze and the view turns out to be trivial, this will all have been another successful Google PR stunt but one that casts further shadow on the success of the viewable impression as a trading currency online.

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