The onslaught of demand by marketers and advertisers alike has driven innovation surrounding the distribution of video advertisements of all types -- whether they are ads surrounding, laying over or inserted within user-generated content or content of interest to viewers, such as news.
Two major themes in any discussion of online video are advertising and CGM (consumer-generated content, or whatever you want to call it). Some of the questions we're asking: What kind of ads will work best in short-form content? What should these ads look like? And, how are we as marketers going to produce the many different executions necessary for all the geographic, demographic, and use-based targeting that's just around the corner? CGM campaigns run through managed brand communities provide one coming answer.
Procter & Gamble Co. has been in the news lately, as the company recently launched an online program called "Crescent Heights." The show features a recent college graduate named Ashley, who hails from Wisconsin and recently moved to Los Angeles to begin a career in public relations. The story focuses on Ashley's work life, love life and acclimation to being in a new city. Intertwined throughout the program is the connection to Tide, which serves as the sole sponsor/creator of "Crescent Heights."
The logic behind behavioral targeting, at least on the surface, is difficult to refute. By targeting messages based on user behavior, we will be able to place more relevant ads in front of more interested consumers. Makes perfect sense. At least, in theory. My problem with behavioral targeting is that it seems to sidestep one of the most important viewer behaviors. To see if you agree or not, I'll need you to answer a simple question: When you skip commercials at home, are you actually skipping commercials, or, are you skipping the interruption to the program you are watching?
Television is no longer a piece of furniture that sits in a living room. Television is almost everywhere people want it to be - mobile, phone, Internet, WiFi, WiMax, or DSL broadband. Needless to say, viewership is changing. Today, YouTube and MySpace get more viewers than some television shows.
As we struggle to reason about the almost bizarre mix of online and on-air ratings and metrics being bantered about these days, along comes yet another mystifying development in all things video. Only this time, it's the traditional ratings gurus - Nielsen -- who apparently went awry.
There were two recent developments that caught my eye and got me thinking about online video formats. The first, which I applaud, was MSN's decision to scale back on pre-roll ads within the MSN Video channel. The second, which brought much audience ire, was YouTube's decision to place Video Egg-Like overlay ads in front of too many videos.
To date, online video has centered on the major brand advertisers and how to get these companies to move online and execute more campaigns. Most vendors are focused on building a video platform that is both attractive and effective for McDonald's, Coke, Visa and other like-minded advertisers. As a result, direct-response advertisers have been overlooked, as well as the opportunity for this category of advertisers to leverage online video. While many of these direct-response companies have been on the sidelines, I think with some ingenuity and education, video can become an effective vehicle for them as well.
Sponsored search is arguably the most revolutionary and successful ad medium. And it just might represent how future media budgets are managed across other segments such as television, radio, and of course, online video advertising. Granted, sponsored search is mostly about direct response, not branding; however, it is hard to argue against the merits of real-time optimization methods that maximize reach and limit waste. So, what practices utilized by successful search and interactive advertisers can be applied to other forms of advertising, such as managing online video ad campaigns?
t's curious, at least to me, that the dialogue around the concept of "engagement" remains focused primarily on media. Most of the talk you hear today is about how engagement can be enhanced through pod position, time of day, type of program, etc. And while these are all pertinent to the discussion, it seems to be counterproductive to be talking about engagement while ignoring two equally important components of it: viewer intent. And, the creative itself.