Commentary

Morning, Noon or Night? Why Timing Matters for Branded Video

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, August 7, 2015
Brands are constantly tasked not only with beating out competitors for market share, but also fighting for their audiences’ attention as they move throughout their day. This is especially important for media planners as they’re looking to catch consumers’ attention through branded video campaigns.

Consumers also now expect all of the content they come across to be personalized, contextual and relevant to them. Given this trend, brands must time the release and promotion of their campaigns to match what their consumers are doing or thinking at that particular time of day.

Cheerios in the morning, Starbucks in the afternoon and Degree in the evening. While it may seem obvious to some, the data behind when brands should launch their campaigns now proves it—consumers watch branded videos that are relevant to what they’re thinking, doing or eating at that point in time.

In the morning, for example, online viewership for Honey Nut Cheerios’ campaign “Bee Got Swag” peaked from 8-11 a.m., when it garnered over two times the amount of views compared to another time of day, such as 8-11 p.m.. This campaign, which reached a total of over 7.2 million views, featured the artist Nelly giving the iconic honeybee mascot, Buzz, a hip-hop-themed makeover. Given the huge upswing in views during the morning timeslot, it is clear that Honey Nut Cheerios fits into the breakfast category for ideal timing.

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For a popular afternoon campaign, Starbucks’ “Meet Me At Starbucks” video peaked starting at 2 p.m. as consumers looked for their midday caffeine fix. The coffee chain’s campaign, which has received over 3.4 million views, featured a variety of different groups and demographics — friends, family, classmates and coworkers — all meeting at Starbucks, showing that it’s the place to meet. This branded campaign saw 2.2 times the views from 2-5 p.m.than it did compared to 7-10 a.m.—solidifying its spot as an afternoon-preferred branded campaign.

Finally, as the evening rolls in, the basketball-focused Degree campaign, “In Motion,” saw online viewership peak, concentrated at 9 p.m. as consumers hit the gym. This campaign featured NBA star Stephen Curry discussing the hard work that he’s put into his professional success, and has reached a total of over 3.1 million views. This branded video campaign was viewed 1.9 times as often between 8-10 p.m. compared to 8-10 a.m., making it a nighttime winner.  

These three campaigns consistently saw around twice the amount of viewership in peak times versus off-peak times, providing validation for synchronizing brand promotions with peak audience interest times—resulting in a significant, positive effect on branded video performance. For those media planners that haven’t thought of their campaigns from this timing aspect, this may now help brands better time their promotions and social media activity to be most effective by reaching people when those products are the most relevant.

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