I’m thankful for the content providers that tell me I can stop this pre-roll ad right away and go to the content I came for, post-haste.
Forbes.com does this all the time. But oddly, I usually watch the ad because I want Forbes to keep offering the option of not watching, and that will only happen if I don’t utilize the option. I also watch those ads if I sense a Website is struggling to survive. I like to help the underdog. I bet I’m not alone.
I also like those advertisements online that tell me how much longer they are going to last. If only people did that. At a cocktail party, if I knew the blowhard or equal-opportunity blowhardette approaching me had only had 30 seconds-worth of hot air to expend, I’d circulate a lot more. So would they, I bet.
And apparently, a lot of online viewers, knowing the end is coming soon, just sit there and take in the ad.
But in truth, if you grew up with TV, by now you can sort of mentally/physically determine how much time you have to leave the set to make a sandwich, run out to the car, go to the bathroom, or focus ever so briefly on your spouse.
That’s why advertisers often pay more for the last ad in a pod, because the television clock inside our brain is often not precisely accurate. Sometimes, despite our training, we get back just slightly too early.
In a more minor league kind of way, I’m learning that rhythm with online ads, skippable or not. I can do something else for 15 or 30 seconds, then focus.
TubeMogul CEO Brett Wilson last week told an audience that 15%-25% of skippable ads are completed, which of course is the positive way of saying that 80%-85% of skippable ads live up to their name. According to Tubefilter.com, on the same panel at a VideoNuze online advertising summit, Kathryn Friedrich, YouTube’s head of video strategy “dodged the query with the more guarded answer of ‘it varies.’ ”
But goodness, for YouTube, it must vary tremendously, given the wide range of content (some of it barely qualifying as content) that shows up there.
That VideoNuze conference had some more uncomfortable truth telling. Here’s another: Damn the stats, advertisers and marketers just aren’t going to rush over to online advertising, because there is just too much online out there. TV, though more and more expensive, is still serving them well, and easily and without as much risk as an advertiser might experience putting messages someplace they’ve never been before. It’s why you end up ordering the same thing at Thai restaurants. Pad Thai is the devil you know.
“If you followed viewers across all screens, we’d have to add at least 70% to the budget … our clients say ‘we don’t have have any more money and everything’s more expensive,’” said Michael Bologna, director of emerging communications at GroupM, as reported on PaidContent.org. And so, things stay not exactly as they are, but more like they are than they should be.