Viewers Dislike Video Ads, Prefer Short Pre-Rolls

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Internet video users distrust and dislike online commercials -- even if they get content for free.

This isn't the same dynamic for viewers of traditional TV programming and commercials, according to a new report from eMarketer. That's especially true when traditional TV commercials are run in 30-second and 15-second formats.

David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer, writes: "The Internet and TV audience are not one and the same. The Internet audience does not necessarily respond to the same ads in the same way they would after viewing them on TV."

Much of the difference comes down to the length of commercial messages, he says. For example, an MTV Networks study conducted in the first six months of this year found that audiences favor short pre-roll and overlay ad video combinations that appear and then disappear.

This makes them less intrusive, but also lowers the impact sometimes.

For instance, when looking at U.S. online video advertising, there was an 81.0% aided awareness score with the five-second pre-roll and the lower-third message. The control group here was at 72.9%. But using a 30-second pre-roll spot, it delivered an 81.7% number.

Conditions were much better in looking just at "online ad awareness." This was at 56.2% with a five-second pre-roll and a lower-third message, while a control group was at 29.2%.

In observing unaided awareness, there is a 22.9% score when using a five-second pre-roll spot plus a lower-third message. This compares to the control group's 12.6%.

While some industry trends have seen online video -- especially that of premium video -- moving more toward a pay model, research still points to consumers wanting shows for free.

The study says ad-supported video is favored by online video users three to one against pay video online models.

1 comment about "Viewers Dislike Video Ads, Prefer Short Pre-Rolls".
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  1. Langston Richardson from Cisco, October 7, 2009 at 4:01 p.m.

    Again, we see that we are an industry who doesn't heed our own insights into consumer behavior. In an interactive experience, interruptions are a very bad thing. In broadcast media where people are less likely to focus like they are on a computer, we screen out commercials and are not as upset about the breaks in the viewing activity.

    We're finding that even with roll ups and pre-rolls, the placements have to make sense within the context of the page or else it's an intrusion that negatively impacts brands.

    Langston Richardson
    Twitter: @MATSNL65

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