With TV commercial production still comfortably ensconced within the traditional agencies and viral applications being primarily outsourced to the boutique interactive shops, one can't help but wonder if and when the two competencies will finally meet. Sure, there's a smattering of digital agencies out there that say they can shoot your video for streaming advertising applications, but advertisers, beware!
Why is online video attracting such interest right now? Doesn't it seem odd that a marketing world that is apparently shifting from "show and tell" communication offline to "engage and interact" communication online should focus so much attention on video? After all, most online video content still offers a passive viewing experience that fails to capitalize on the interactive nature of the Web. I believe it is exactly this more passive experience that makes video an effective brand-builder online, now and for years to come.
The amazing number of digital consumer devices in the marketplace today is breathtaking, The new lifecycle is keyed toward rapid product development, even more rapid product announcement, followed closely by product availability... and then, an all too rapid journey toward product obsolescence? But what about buying a new HDTV set?
Marketers and advertisers would be amiss to ignore the one constant in their evolutionary relationship with consumers -- consumers are annoyed by the omnipresent, intrusive noise of the advertising machine. I don't blame them, either. Advertising is highly disruptive, it's almost always irrelevant, and our desired content experience seems always compromised by it, whether we like it or not.
In spite of the fact that most people -- including those elusive teens and twenty-somethings -- still spend a big chunk of time watching TV each day, the decrease in cost effectiveness of TV advertising is causing marketers to seek alternative platforms for their video ads. Right now, two big opportunities exist: online and in-store.
Just last week, NBC announced it would not be renewing its video distribution partnership with Apple and its iTunes service, and it moved to Amazon instead --while Sony has announced plans to more directly compete with Apple when it comes to video downloading services. Many analysts believe that the video distribution "wars" have only begun, with no clear-cut winner yet to emerge, and I could not agree more.
When YouTube recently announced its overlay ad model, forgoing the pre-roll and choosing instead to embrace an opt-in video overlay, it occurred to me that they'd forgotten that advertising in broadband video doesn't have to be a necessary evil if it's done right.
Politics has always been about one individual with a set of ideals that you can relate to. The person, not the party, stimulates the connection. In the past, you could rely only on television to bring words to life. Somehow, an in-person speech is more believable than words on paper, and an in-person question is more impactful than a text message or email. With that in mind, I applaud what CNN and YouTube are offering America -- a way to have the individual voice heard directly by those who must use their influence responsibly while trying to gain our vote …
Madison Avenue has received many calls to action on innovating online video advertising. Heck, I have even gotten caught up in blaming ad execs for the slow adoption. But, I am starting to wonder, is the delay really on them? Or could some of the responsibility fall to publishers, ad networks and exchanges?Marketers want to get in the online video ad game without a doubt. But a lack of standards and a knowledge gap are affecting the follow-through. Advertisers and ad agencies aren't getting the information they need to justify the value of online video ads.
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