Engaging Solutions

Once again, a solution to an ad problem lies in the creative. Recent studies have found that engagement rates with ads are three to four times higher when a marketer uses customized spots, with tailored creative and interactive features, than they are for pre-roll ads.

The highest click-throughs occur when advertisers take the time to develop an ad and message specific to online video, rather than just repurposing a TV spot, said Michael Mathieu, CEO of YuMe. In a medium where advertisers are eager for every potential exposure, these sorts of increases are meaningful. But they're also few and far between. The less effective pre-roll still dominates Web video and accounts for 95 percent of the ads YuMe, and most video networks, deliver.

YuMe's data comes from a study of its spots over the last year. The company served up more than three billion video ads in the first nine months of 2009 and found that when advertisers customize the creative for the online video medium they are generating as high as a 5 percent click-through rate, or engagement rate, with the average customized spot garnering double the interaction of pre-rolls. By comparison, pre-rolls are generating about 1 percent interaction, YuMe found. Some of the clients YuMe has served up tailored ads for Axe, Dove, Vitamin Water, Universal Pictures and Land Rover.

Competitor ad network ScanScout has also found that customized spots yield much higher engagement rates. Interactive ads that let customers participate in polls, for instance, are generating four times better click-through rates than standard pre-rolls, said ScanScout CEO Bill Day, citing data from a recent campaign for Vaseline - in which users could vote on their favorite features of the lotion - run across its network.
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