Rethinking Online Video Advertising
Where video advertising is concerned, the grand prize of winning new customers and new revenue is ours to lose. There is a lot at stake, because, after a decade of digital lamentation about televisionís chokehold on brand budgets, online video is finally seeing its moment in the sun. Brand marketers realize that online video delivers the best-quality television advertising and more. Thatís why video viewership continues to rise month after month, and brands are pouring more cash than ever into this evolving platform. Common sense dictates that this is only the beginning.
But itís no longer enough to leave it to media planners to tackle fundamental execution issues like placement, positioning and pricing. If we want to see video advertising that truly delivers on its promise for brands and consumers, the industry needs to step away from the often contradictory metrics we now rely on and pivot 180-degrees to put user experience at the center of every video campaign. Pre-roll ó still most plannersí first choice by far Ė is not doing the trick.
With our consumer hats on, we need to consider what I call the ďvalue exchangeĒ of video advertising. Brands need to ask what theyíre providing to users in return for the time and attention they give up. Some degree of give and take is required for brands to achieve the engagement they desire from their audiences. We need to create video advertising in the interest of consumers.
So what do viewers want? In a recent study commissioned by Vibrant Media, we looked at how the user experience of a video ad impacts brand engagement. There were 500 participants involved. Key findings included: the ability to both choose and control the online video experience matters to users, and personally relevant ads aligned to content are more likely to engage and hold a userís attention. Specifically, 81 percent of survey respondents reported that they prefer advertising they can initiate on their own. Seventy-two percent appreciated being able to start and stop an ad on their own. And 62 percent said video ads that were relevant to the content on their page left them with a more favorable brand impression.
Relevance, control and choice. Thatís what people want from video advertising. Not so surprising, really, when you think about what we, as consumers, expect from the video advertising weíre forced to watch ourselves. We demand respect from the brands that covet our loyalty, and our viewers deserve no less. After all, even as television audiences start to decline, screens are more ubiquitous than ever. Viewers are growing savvier at blocking out the noise. More is not better. We canít just pummel people with advertising and hope something gets through.
Just as the best products ó like the iPhone ó put usersí needs first, so should the best advertising. Letís step away from the metrics and the noise, and think about what our audience wants. Letís entertain them, inform them and help them. Letís give them relevance, choice and control. Letís cut the clutter and focus on creating a quality user experience and a quality brand experience. Letís strive to create video advertising that truly delivers for brands ó by putting consumers first.
Ariff Quli is Senior Vice President of Sales at Vibrant Media, a contextual advertising company.
Vibrant (www.vibrantmedia.com) is a world leader in contextual technology aligning billions of words across the Internet with relevant video, information, tools, and advertising. With over 6,500 premium publishers, reaching more than 250 million unique users per month (comScore, 2012), Vibrant gives top brand marketers the opportunity to deliver highly targeted advertisements within premium Web content and offers publishers premium editorial tools to re-circulate users throughout their websites. Vibrant works with top brand advertisers such as Microsoft, Unilever, Chrysler and AT&T. The company was founded in 2000 and has offices in London, New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, Hamburg, Munich and Dusseldorf. For more information, visit www.vibrantmedia.com or www.facebook.com/vibrantmedia or http://twitter.com/vibrantmedia.