Jim Johnson, VP Account Planning at Exponential discusses the latest trends in video advertising.
What are some of the larger video advertising trends?
One of the major trends are requests for demonstrable ROI on video advertising, while at the same time looking for formats that don’t annoy or intrude on prospective consumers.
For years, video has been held to metrics that were focused on video exposure and view duration (i.e. video completion rate) without any regard to the impact on eventual purchases or customer loyalty metrics. Given the steady increases in ad blocking and users skipping pre-roll, mid-roll and other forced video ad experiences, it’s become clear that either the delivery or content (or both!) of these messages is missing the mark with consumers. One of the antidotes was the advent of the 6-second video, but the impact of these condensed videos is questionable, and they still don’t answer the question of relevancy.
The fact remains that consumers desire relevant video messages that they can choose to interact with on their terms. It’s interesting to think about the stark contrast that exists between how consumers go about their daily lives today, and how we try to deliver marketing messages to them. With all the simple, one-touch choices consumers now have in terms of on-demand video content, smartphones to discover, explore, and buy products at their leisure, and myriad options to communicate with friends on social platforms and messaging apps, this age of consumer choice only makes a forced or intrusive advertising experience more jarring. Embracing this reality is something we are seeing more clients adopt, and they are looking for media partners who can help them measure their investments in video advertising without alienating their potential customers with intrusive formats. And that measurement is increasingly in the form of sales, leads, and performance metrics that were once reserved for banner ads or search.
What predictions do you have for the future of the industry?
The move from analog to digital devices created a seismic shift in how people consume media and content. However, what it didn’t change was the fact that human beings are curious for more information and long for interaction. The next shift will involve the blurring of lines between the physical and digital worlds, as immersive media allows for a new level of consumer engagement. For example, virtually test driving a car without visiting a dealership, going on a virtual tour of a dozen open houses from your couch, or trying on clothing virtually and making a purchase from the same device. This is precisely why brand building becomes even more important now than ever, as consumers of the future will select brands who deliver the best customer experiences, gaining loyalty as products and services become more universally available.
How does the effectiveness of video advertising compare to other formats?
If there’s one major downfall of the current era, it’s that video advertising still largely remains a vehicle for push messaging, forcing its viewer into an experience, not of their choosing. In this way, its effectiveness is capped since the consumer is not as receptive to the message as they could be if the message was opt-in, data-driven and interactive.
When done right, the impact of video advertising is undeniable. There is no other widely available medium today that can offer the benefits of emotional impact, interactive functionality, and storytelling capability that video can. When you also consider that data-driven targeting, measurability of direct response metrics and opt-in consumer experiences are also now available at scale, video offers the most well-rounded creative format available to advertisers today.
Are video advertising trends the same across all platforms?
More and more brands are thinking about how users interact on different platforms and devices, which is hugely important, as the use case is often more important than the technology or platform itself. Context is key when developing video creative, and brands would do well to develop specific creative based on the platform the consumer is viewing the ad. For example, integrating a store locator into a mobile video experience for a fast food restaurant is likely more impactful than on a Connected TV app, since the mobile user can tap for directions and use their GPS while on the go, where most spontaneous dining decisions are made. Another example would be to offer hotel visitors the opportunity to download the app while watching video on mobile web, versus on desktop where an extra step is necessary to add the app to their smartphone via iTunes. Generally speaking, we see more clients moving toward creating custom video experiences keeping the user’s context in mind, which is a positive development in my mind.