Commentary

Don't Skip This Ad! Instead, Choose Your Favorite Brand

If you were given the choice to skip an ad, you’d skip it, right? Most of us would. Even those of us in the ad business. That was the admission of many speakers on the panel I moderated at OMMA Global earlier this week  on elective video ad formats.

But even if we would like to hit skip while wearing our consumers hats, we all know that when we put on our ad hats, we need to make better ads and those may include choices for consumers. Choice-based advertising is a vital trend to watch. Hulu now asks viewers “was this ad relevant” for many spots. YouTube often lets users skip a pre-roll after having watched a certain portion of it, plus Solve Media just introduced a new format that lets users skip an ad after they enter a brand message in a text box.

But what if the choices in such “choice-based” ad models were better? What if instead of choosing between watching a GM ad or a Dove ad (How does that help brands learn more about me?) viewers could choose from four different GM car options, suggested Dave Martin, SVP of Media at Ignited  during the panel. That would give the marketer a better sense of how to properly target GM cars to particular viewers — should GM peddle a truck, an SUV, a compact car or a hybrid to me, for instance? Another option that could be fun for consumers would be if Coca-Cola ran a pre-roll letting viewers choose to watch any Coke ad from the life of the brand, Martin said. Coke has made some well-known and iconic commercials, so rather than watching the latest ad, viewers might want to watch “Buy the world a Coke ad” or the one for the Happiness Machine. Viewers are still exposed to the brand, but perhaps they have warmer associations that come with nostalgia.

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7 comments about "Don't Skip This Ad! Instead, Choose Your Favorite Brand".
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  1. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, March 23, 2012 at 9:56 a.m.

    "If you were given the choice to skip an ad, you’d skip it, right? Most of us would. Even those of us in the ad business."

    I think you got this wrong. Research show ESPECIALLY those of us in the ad biz.

    To be clear, putting the power of ad skipping in consumer hands with DVRs improved ad effectiveness. But the ad biz suffers from a self-loathing...a cynical rejection of its true job: to sell product. So ideas like these appeal to the ad biz but lack value to our clients.

  2. Eric Smith from Mediassociates, March 23, 2012 at 2:22 p.m.

    I think the article is right on, we choose to skip ads because most of them aren't relevant to us as a consumer. As much as privacy watchdog groups want to put the 50' tall privacy fence around our browser habits, the end result will force media outlets to drop more irrelevant ads in front of you in the classic "spay and pray" method. As a consumer (regardless of my agency profession), I would much prefer that both my digital experience as well as my television experience offered ad solutions that catered to who I was, and what my interests were. I don't care one ounce about Dove body wash, but I'll watch North Face ads all day long. For this "it is all about me" generation, shouldn't we be working harder to put products in front of consumers that they would actually buy?

  3. Mark Walker from aka Media Mark, March 23, 2012 at 2:33 p.m.

    Good ideas are good because they push the limits of the medium. In this case, allowing a choice rather than forcing one ad on the audience can generate a lot of useful data as to when, where and an ad was selected.

    Keep thinking outside the box (or tablet or phone) and test some good ideas. I am eager to see the results!

  4. Mark Walker from aka Media Mark, March 23, 2012 at 2:35 p.m.

    Right, Eric! Advertising SHOULD be all about the consumer... and if the ad is relevant, it will be viewed or clicked- no doubt about that!

  5. Jason Krebs from Tenor/Google, March 23, 2012 at 5:40 p.m.

    At the risk of sounding smug, this has been solved this already. We take this problem off the table and only charge the advertiser when a consumer physically engages with the video creative. It's the exact opposite of the advertiser paying for the result of a consumer being forced to view an ad.

    Look at our Ad-Lab and see anything that says CPE (cost-per-engagement).

  6. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, March 23, 2012 at 6:27 p.m.

    The problem with choice is that good ads are often sandwiched between two bad spots in a pod, and they all get skipped.

  7. Cece Forrester from tbd, March 23, 2012 at 9:14 p.m.

    The DVR does not make it easy to selectively skip ads. But it should. That's how it works with print ads--you turn the page on one that doesn't interest you, not on a bunch of them without being able to decide on each. It ought to be possible to hit a skip ad button for one commercial after it starts, and land at the beginning of the next, then either watch it or skip it, and so on. Even play one of your favorites a second time. I think this would be perceived as viewer-friendly and would maximize the willing and interested audience for each spot. You can't honestly say you care about anyone else, right?

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