While Online Video Viewing Is Up, TV Ads Still Work Better; Here's How to Improve Your Online Video Ads

A new Millward Brown report, "AdReaction: Video Creative in a Digital World," which examined video use and creative response across screens and the impact for marketers, found multiscreen users now spend as much time viewing online video as they do viewing TV.

The study, conducted across 42 countries and 13,500 respondents, found that globally among multiscreen users ages 16-45, videos are viewed for more than three hours daily (204 minutes on average). The largest chunk of time spent daily was in Nigeria with 4.5 hours , while Hungarians reported the least amount of time spent at 2.5 hours a day. 

While half of this video viewing (102 minutes) is on TV, one-third is now conducted via mobile devices (45 minutes smartphone, 20 minutes tablet), and the remainder (37 minutes) is viewed on laptops or PCs. While this may presents a significant advertising opportunity for marketers, receptivity to digital video ads is much lower (19 percent favorable) than for live TV ads (29 percent favorable).



Of the findings, Millward Brown Digital Global Brand Director said: "While video is now available on myriad screens, applying TV thinking to digital content and placement is simply not acceptable, and consumers expect more from online advertisers. By exploring behaviors and preferences related to screens and advertising, AdReaction Video provides a roadmap to help marketers build effective media plans and creative approaches that target the right people in the right context with the right content."

Additional findings from the study offer tips for agency creatives to implement to improve the response of online video.

People are receptive to targeting, but don't want to be stalked. The study found that consumers are most receptive to video ads targeted based on their interests (41 percent receptive) or preferred brands (40 percent receptive) and least receptive to ads based on their web browsing history (25 percent receptive). Even though web browsing behavior may drive interest-based targeting, the findings indicate improved targeting is likely to work best.

Context matters. Currently, 498 percent have a negative view of video ads. Twenty-nine percent of consumers said they were less likely to skip, and pay more attention to, online video ads that offer rewards, and they were most receptive to skippable and click-to-play ad formats that provide control over what they see. So cut that autoplay crap.

Content is still king. The study's findings suggest the need to consider digital earlier in the creative process and a solid focus on optimization across screens. And while skippable formats might be a creative the study finds viewers want the option and given them the option is the lesser of two evils.  

Other points of note from the study:

Respondents noted they have more control over digital ads than TV ads, with the majority believing the laptop gives them the most control (63 percent). This, of course, explains the irritation with online ad formats which do not offer this control.

Skippable pre-rolls (34 percent favorability) and skippable mobile pre-rolls (31 percent) are viewed much more favorably than mobile app pop-ups (14 percent) and non-skippable pre-rolls (15 percent). The most popular ad format is mobile app reward videos (49 percent favorable).

Consumers are slightly more receptive to viewing video ads while at home (28 percent) versus at work (21 percent).

Points to ponder as you embark upon your next online video campaign.

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