Commentary

Video: Is It Time For A Sanity Check?

Every morning I wake up to find my newsfeed awash with encouraging developments in video.  Whether it’s addressable advertising, programmatic buying or video verification, it’s exciting to see so many critical aspects of advertising moving forward on both the technology and adoption fronts. The needle, as they say, is moving forward.

While we marketers are engaged in active conversations about improving the reach and effectiveness of video advertising (and let’s not forget operational efficiency), there’s no better time to do a sanity check on all things video already on the table. Are we missing out on major benefits that are right under our collective industry noses? I would answer: Definitely, yes.

Put a label on it – or don’t

The term “video” has quickly become synonymous with “in-stream.” In a lot of ways, it makes sense; after all, it’s much easier to grow a market when you can simplify that terminology for everyone from buyers to sellers to investors. However, the problem with labeling an actual format (in-stream) with the name of a medium (video) is that once the market matures, it gives rise to the misconception that the medium is constrained by the inherent limitations of the format.  This means that while we’re managing the media aspects of in-stream differently than that of rich media, mobile, social and so on, we also become indifferent to the other inherent richness the medium affords in its creative, data and even its overall role within the broader marketing strategy. 

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Let’s consider some of the missed opportunities here. Why shouldn't we use the performance of different videos in one channel to influence our decisions in another?  Why can't we leverage both broadcast and social video within all our formats? There’s no room for the kind of mentality that says interactivity is too difficult, too time-consuming, or costly to deploy across in-stream, rich-media or social.

Encourage creative collaboration

When it comes to leveraging video across multichannel campaigns, we could all do with a good dose of “sharing is caring.” Let’s look at the sheer amount of video access out there. There’s the standard 15-second and 30-second spots (or longer) meant for broadcast; a few digital-exclusive ads crafted by a digitally focused creative agency; videos for Vine and Instagram; custom brand narratives or celebrity-endorsed clips; and branded entertainment, either directly produced or in partnership with MCNs and YouTube celebs.  To top it off, you've got an entire range of product videos, demos and launch announcements, and user-generated videos. Whoa!

Rather than get overwhelmed, look to those very same creative teams for support and challenge your existing vendors for solutions.  Let’s encourage collaboration among anyone and everyone building any form of digital media creative, whether it's an expandable banner, a sponsored post, a pre-roll ad or a new microsite.  Inject yourself into the conversation and explore all the ways to get every last bit of value from your video and your media.

Do more, today

A good place to start is tearing down the barriers that exist between creative teams, and even between your technology vendors, to improve transparency in those working situations.

Establishing metrics early on in the campaign planning process is an important step for evaluating performance and optimizing your creative for success. Think about how you’ll define engagement and understand your attribution model to verify its inclusion of video exposure – this is equally valuable information for measuring ROI as it is for gaining insights that improve the storytelling experience of your brand.  If you layer in brand studies, the possibilities are even greater.  With audiences moving between screens in and out of the home at increasing rates, there's no reason to limit their exposure to your most important and critical brand assets. Yes, we’re talking about video here in the truest sense of the word.

I know, it’s easier said than done. We’re all familiar with the drill of limited budgets, and the typical challenges of pushing more in-stream - or whatever you want to call it. Let’s not lose sight of the opportunities we have today, though. Working in tandem with a strong media team and a champion for open access to creative and data, the stage is set for creative agencies, social media teams and brand marketers to truly own the audience experience and the brand message across every channel.

2 comments about "Video: Is It Time For A Sanity Check? ".
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  1. Mark Stone from Magic by Mark, April 28, 2014 at 4:14 p.m.

    Video has, is and will always be the highest resolution, uncompressed signal available in this day and age. It's NOT what my provider decides should pass as video.

  2. Robin Solis from synchronicity.co, April 29, 2014 at 2:05 p.m.

    I couldn't agree with Mark Stone more.

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