Video online advertising …what works ?

In the ever changing world of online advertising there is is still much confusion on just what works. This, it seems, is especially true of online video-based advertising. At this week’s New York Ad Age Conference, this very topic was discussed with a panel of leading online marketing experts.

While it seems everyone remains enthusiastic as to its use (people in general seem to really like online video advertising), the bottom line is no one really has a clue where it will end up. In the beginning it was easy to snag the viewers …but already the novelty is gone.

The question now is really how are we best going to use it…and what do people think will become the “norm” of this advertising medium in the near future?

Here are few of the key ideas discussed.

Question one: Do pre-roll spots really work ?

A hot topic at the Ad Age panel discussion on video advertising was pre-roll ads, ie advertising in which advertisers run commercial 10 to 30 seconds long before a viewer can watch a piece of content. Do these actually work?

According to many of the experts, the idea of a ‘before the show’ video commercial may be as dated as analogue television. Most agree that the new focus on video has to go directly to video snippets that play within banner ads and as “video overlays”.

The reason is simple: overlays can be customized any which way so they directly relate to the on-screen environment, and allow for a much more connected experience for the viewer.

Question two: What content works best ?

While no one had the definitive answer for this, the one thing they all agreed on is that it is NOT about repurposing old TV commercials anymore, which is what early online video ads were all about. Participants agreed that the new model for online video is the creation of custom content. Finally a content creator can create materials that suit the medium …size of video, length, even aspect ratio are all totally open.

Question three: Does Online video advertising add value?

The long term success of online video advertising of course rests in its ability as a new medium to bring value to an overall campaign. Again, the early indications from the gurus at this event say ‘yes’. Online videos are proving to be successful and the proof is its use as a highly integrated part of an overall ad strategy of some of the biggest companies in the business. My take? Online video is here to stay for this reason alone.


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