My good friend Tod Sacerdoti posted a provocative article last week titled "Mobile Video Advertising Is Irrelevant," making the argument, and I'm paraphrasing, that video is video no matter where and on what screen that video is viewed on. This is a subject we've thought a lot about as you can imagine, and I wanted to point out that he is wrong for one big reason: specificity works.
Consider where the digital advertising world is today. Sure, there is tons of inventory, and many people are buying just as Tod suggests, with no less regard for how that inventory is targeted or where it is displayed. We call that "spray and pray." But more and more dollars are becoming very platform and site specific, because purpose-built inventory always shows better results than "spray and pray" buying. That is why you are seeing site-specific buys with big budgets such as the New York Times Home page shutters and Pandora's wrappers and CNET's story interstitials. Remember the Apple video ads on the New York Times home page where Mac and PC were in the sidebar talking to the banner space above? That was super-captivating because it was super-site-specific.
That kind of destination specificity captures attention, drives engagement and shows better brand metric results. Good agencies bet their reputations and their creativity on understanding the difference between buckets of inventory and exploiting those differences to meet aggressive marketing objectives. That buying beats "spray and pray" every day.
With mobile video we've consistently seen better brand engagement metrics than online video. We've seen performance such as nine times purchase intent over online video, and 19 times aided awareness.
With mobile-video-specific buying, we have the ability to target on exciting vectors such as location. Imagine you are an hotelier who can put a video ad in front of everyone in an airport? Isn't that more powerful than the "every video is the same" advice? There are many other specific engagement models, the nuances of which matter when constructing an effective media plan.
Lastly, buying specifically from a mobile video partner can ensure, for example, a zero-latency and zero buffering ad experience that is optimized for quality on the individual device and well-integrated into the overall mobile experience. That matters to users and it should matter to buyers.
I get what Tod is doing. He's trying to say that buying mobile through him is the same as buying it anywhere else, so he can capture more share of an exploding market. Cute. Savvy marketers, however, know that best of breed and purpose-built inventory always performs better than "spray and pray."