Now that video content is everywhere, video assets are the stem cells of advertising. Auto marketers clearly get that as more and more automotive video content, whether it's refigured from TV ads or web-only, are heading to interactive screens of all sizes in all places.
At the recent J.D. Power & Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas, San Mateo, Calif.-based Adap.tv offered a look at where online video from automakers is living and what makes it work. The firm, which serves as a kind of eBay for buying and selling online video ads through 4,300 sites found from a review of its own data automotive marketers are doing a good job engaging consumers.
Completion rates -- the rates at which consumers watched entire online ads -- for 30-second spots are 45% above Adap.tv's marketplace average, leading food, beverage, retail, CPG, travel, wireless, financial/business, tech, entertainment, PSA, and Electronics. And auto was third among the top five categories for consumer engagement online after telecom, B-to-B, and classified and local. In the first six months this year, 30-second ads went from less than 25% of online auto ads to 75% by June.
So, what are the keys to engagement? Regional targeting and interactivity: Adap.tv food that two out of three automotive video ads are regionally targeted to support local dealers, with 43% of spend going to non-geographically targeted ads, down from around 50% last year. Auto advertisers who used highly interactive ad formats saw a 20% increase in completion rate. The two are related, says Vijay Rao, senior director of strategic planning for Adap.tv, who says that what makes auto advertising engaging is also what makes it relevant and actionable.
Rao tells Marketing Daily that savvier auto video advertisers are using dynamic overlays to do things like let viewers schedule test drives and configure vehicles. "When there are fewer steps, fewer barriers in the consumer pathway to purchase, there are fewer drop-offs," he says. "If you can make it easier for them to configure a car, they are 90 times more likely more purchase the car. And if they actually take a test drive, it's 180 times more likely."
Rao says even with "massive growth" in online video advertising, the field is still far from saturated. "[Marketers] know TV is where they have to play, but it's cluttered. So, given the tools where you can plan, buy and executive, online is becoming more TV-like in spend and planning." Marketers, he says, spend about $4 billion on TV per year, while the entire online video spend across all categories is $2 billion, "So there is still a massive discrepancy in terms of the two media."
Moving forward, Rao sees superior targeting making the traditional age-set demo-based buying for TV outmoded. "Typical age set isn't best indicator of purchase intent. But data providers are creating segments around hand-raisers and intent-to-purchase triggers." He says the web allows targeting to be broken down by things like consumers' budget, and predisposition to buy a vehicle or brand in the next ninety days. "It's all based on real-world data.”