Will Video Take Over?

In the 80's we saw video take the place of radio as the premier means of breaking new music and creating a connection between artists and their fans (eighties pop reference = "Buggles" on MTV.) Now we're witnessing video once again launch itself forward and take the place of another established form of media, specifically within online advertising.

The simple facts are unavoidable. Approximately 2/3 of the US is online and 50% of those folks are utilizing a Broadband connection. As more and more people are taking advantage of faster connection speeds, Video is becoming more important in the world of online content, and therefore will become more important in the world of online advertising.

There are a number of reasons why this is going to happen. First of all, the use of video assets in the online space makes it much easier for agencies to integrate their campaigns. If an agency puts together a TV campaign, why wouldn't they use those same commercials online? In addition, the use of video online creates the opportunity to utilize the additional assets that may never have seen the light of day but are still very useful in conveying a message. The use of these assets not only provides more content for advertisers, but it deepens the relationship between consumer and brand by providing more for them to see and interact with.



The second argument in favor of video is based on the old knock that online advertising does not offer as deep an emotional connection as television. I have argued against this before, but the simple fact is that the increased use of video online makes it easier for advertisers to convey the same level of emotion here as they do on TV.

One of the things you have to realize when you discuss the use of video online is that we are not just talking about :30 spots on video feeds such as ESPN Motion or within The FeedRoom. Currently there are a number of technologies that allow you to place video within a standard size ad unit and there are many sites that are already accepting these technologies. We are also starting to once again see the development of some Desktop applications that provide content directly to the consumer. These are updated behind the scenes and updated often, keeping users coming back repeatedly for new content. Advertising is integrated seamlessly into these experiences and can be deemed quite effective not only for Branding campaigns but also for DR campaigns since they all have an interactive component to them as well.

The increasing use of video online does pose some issues that will need to be addressed. First of all, we all know that our industry is horrible at developing standards and the use of video creates a whole new set of standards that will need to be addressed. In addition, we will need to have a baseline for understanding the types of impacts that video will have and how it can be measured. Unlike television, online video may or may not be the only element on the screen. If there are multiple executions of video on a single page, than the consumers will no doubt become annoyed and learn to tune them out in much the same way they are tuning out much of the other advertising they see today. Beyond this fact we will also need to understand the best way to integrate video into the experience and its affect on the other forms of advertising we are currently using.

What I would like to see from our industry on this topic is as follows:

  • The development of a set of recommendations that suggest how video can be utilized on a larger basis for online advertising. Standards such as suggested length (:10, :15, or :30) and how the sites will be integrating them into their offerings.
  • The development of an industry committee that focuses on how to integrate video into our offerings as a whole. There may very well be one but I have not heard about it yet, so at the very least there needs to be more discussion on the topic.
  • A publisher group that starts to determine what can be done from your side to ensure that we integrate properly and do not overkill the issue. We need to be calm, but progressive. We must understand that full-page video is a great idea if frequency capped. Those video units should be the sole unit on a page, and that pricing for these units will need to be fair.

    This is a topic that we can certainly expand in a constructive manner, but it will require us to jump on it immediately. What are your thoughts on this topic?

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