Advertising & Marketing

Adapt video advertising to be effective across devices

The findings from our AdReaction Video study have been widely reported, but the focus has been on time spent on the different video platforms and ad receptivity. In parallel to the main survey, we also tested 20 video ads across TV, online and mobile platforms. Dom Twose, Millward Brown’s Global Head of Knowledge Management, explains what we found.

“While, in general, an enjoyable ad is enjoyable whether it is seen on TV or online, there are some major behavioral differences across platforms that have huge implications for the development and deployment of video ads online.”

For ads that autoplay on Facebook, and for YouTube skippable pre-roll, where people get the opportunity to skip past the ad after a few seconds, typically the majority of people do skip the ad as soon as they can. Although advertisers don’t pay if an ad is skipped, this skipping represents a big waste of opportunity, and there are two implications: if your ad is likely to be aired on these platforms, make the ad as engaging as possible in the first few seconds; and the brand should be prominently included.

While these can seem contradictory recommendations, we do have examples of ads that have achieved both. It is also worth highlighting that this advice is very different to the advice we give for TV ads, where we’ve long argued that you don’t need to brand the ad early. However, on digital platforms,  a familiar and well-liked brand can act as a reason to watch just as much as the initial content.

When the ad is in a click-to-play format, such as on Facebook, the reality is that most people do not click. Here the initial frame and introductory text is crucial, but then the ad needs to deliver on the promise of that set up. For ads likely to be seen on mobile devices, the guidance is even more basic: bear the screen size in mind, and ensure that things that need to be seen for the ad to work (such as brand logos) are clearly visible.

The final point concerns ad length. Even with highly engaging ads, we found people skipping away once the ad extended much beyond half a minute. This may not matter; if you’ve conveyed your brand and communication towards the start of the ad, everything else is bonus entertainment for those who want it. It’s a bit like ‘special editions’ of CDs and DVDs that contain extra features for those who want them.

It may be that your starting point is knowing which platforms you intend to use for your campaign, in which case you can design your ads with that in mind. Or it may be that you are trying to decide where best to deploy your existing creative,; either way, you should keep these guidelines in mind.  Some of them may seem obvious, but having seen a lot of what does get aired online, it is clear that sometimes people need to be reminded of the obvious.

These guidelines don’t just help make your individual ads more effective; more engaging advertising is also one of the best routes to halting the industry-wide decline in ad receptivity.

Dom’s analysis is a useful reminder that digital can be a very powerful platform but only if the creative is right. LinkNow, offers results in less than 24 hours, so there is no longer an excuse not to check what will work. Please share your thoughts on why so many advertisers still pursue a ‘one size fits all’ strategy.


Authored by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Millward Brown

Source:Millward Brown

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