Two ad tech firms presented possible answers last week to advertising’s Dirty Little Secret.
That Secret, of course, is that few people actually watch most ads that interrupt content. At a breakfast hosted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in New York City, Head of Market Development Frank Maguire from native ad platform Sharethrough highlighted the bad news.
Eighty-six percent of viewers skip TV ads these days, Sharethrough said, citing a YouGov study for Deloitte. Eighty-seven percent use a second screen while watching TV, particularly during commercials, per Accenture. Ninety percent skip pre-roll ads, says ORC International.
But that’s only half of the bad news. Here’s the rest: About three-quarters of video ad budgets are spent on these kinds of interruptive TV and pre-roll ads, per the Zenith Advertising Expenditure Forecasts.
The presented answer: viewer choice.
“Advertising needs to be designed for the feed, not the couch,” Maguire contended. His presentation and data then promoted the virtues of silent autoplays within editorial feeds, surrounded by contextual assists like a headline, description and brand logo.
This mobile-first format is utilized as a key player in Sharethrough’s product line, but it makes sense. Mobile has become a major platform for digesting video content, and video ads that resemble the surrounding editorial feed — and provide a headline and short description so you can quickly assess whether it interests you — are an appealing and quick way to obtain information.
Because people choose to watch this kind of video ad, he said, it results in a 45 percent lift in brand awareness.
Video marketing platform Innovid implicitly addressed the same Secret, but it focused on a choice-based solution for the big guy: the television screen. In particular, CTO and co-founder Tal Chalozin spoke about interactive ads presented on Over-the-Top set-top boxes like Roku and Apple TV, or on connected Smart TVs, using the TV remote control as the interactive controller.
He pointed to several pilot projects, including a DirectTVNow campaign on Roku promoting installation of the DirectTVNow app and an interactive Volvo ad for Samsung smart TVs that employed a 30-second spot as a teaser before getting into selectable content.
In these kinds of choice-based ads, Chalozin reported, 58 percent of viewers completed the ad challenge, with an average of 103 more seconds spent on the ad than was required to access the info.