Video Vendors Test, Roll Out New Online Video Ad Formats

Ever on the hunt for ROI in online video, a number of ad technology firms are currently testing and introducing new video formats already this year. In a just-released report, online ad technology company Pointroll has analyzed several video formats and claims that the top-performing online video ad categories for in-stream ads were consumer packaged goods, telecom and consumer electronics manufacturers, according to a study of impressions served from April to December 2011. Those categories had the highest completion rates. When looking at interactive in-stream ads, the best performing categories were automotive, entertainment and non-profit.

“There are a few factors that can impact why different verticals experience different outcomes,” said Catherine Spurway-Hepler, Senior VP of strategy at PointRoll. “Automotive, retail and consumer goods categories may be offering deals, coupons and other promotions in the interactive in-stream video ads that drive interaction. The key is why not add an interactive element? Basics like links to Twitter and Facebook or store locators add value ­ extended reach, time spent, and additional metrics. And they are easy to incorporate. With standard pre-roll, users could be texting or minimizing the browser to view other content while the pre-roll completes or skipping/abandoning the ad altogether. Interactive in-stream provides hard evidence of interactivity and engagement, and results.”

Pointroll also found in its research that interaction rates were three times higher for in-stream video ads than for in-banner video ads. As a result, Pointroll is introducing additional interactivity to its formats, such as an interactive in-stream ad unit that incorporates local product offers into an overlay that coincides with the pre-roll ad, the company said.

Of course, Gannett-owned Pointroll has a stake in the success of in-stream formats. Even so, marketers and video ad technologists are eager to understand which formats work best for which ads, so this sort of early data can help inform decisions.

In related news, Break Media recently said it’s launched a new combo ad tool/ad unit to help marketers understand the social reach of a video. Called Social Video Accelerator, the new technology is designed to pair distribution with the most viral pass-along potential for an ad or branded entertainment. The ad unit will be priced on a cost per view basis, something Break has predicted will increase in usage this year. The Social Video Accelerator essentially guarantees views and is designed to maximize virality through embedded social sharing functions and social analytics, Break said.

“We’re finding target audiences first by distributing on the most appropriate sites, and we’ve added a technology layer to foster and maximize sharing. We analyze both the audience response – views, engagement, completions – as well as sharing and earned media and can optimize towards both,” said Andy Tu, VP of Marketing, at Break. 

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