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Why Those Annoying Online Video Ads Actually Work

Posted by Chris Finan on October 8, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Digital video advertisingImagine you're loading up the latest viral video on YouTube, or finally getting around to watching last week's episode of your favorite show on Hulu. However, just as you press play, an unskippable ad appears. You probably mutter to yourself, roll your eyes and wait for it to finish, eagerly anticipating the delivery of your content.

It's easy to think of these ads as annoying, and it's understandable for marketers to want to distance themselves from something that elicits negative responses. However, the truth of the matter is the "annoying" unskippable quality of video ads may actually make video advertising one of the most powerful tools in a marketer's toolkit, and investing in this type of advertising may actually boost your business.

Getting Your Message Out to a Captive Audience

When users are already sitting down to watch a program, they are primed and ready to pay attention to the content in front of them, even if it isn't the content they originally intended to view (i.e., an ad). Wall St. Cheat Sheet notes that research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst backs this idea up, revealing that ads placed either in front of or in the middle of a video had very high completion rates (74 and 97 percent, respectively), which indicates that users are willing to sit through ads as long as they know that the content they want to view is on the other side of the ad.

More importantly, it seems that users who view online ads have better recall regarding the ads. An IPG Media Lab study found that 50 percent of users surveyed correctly identified the brand associated with an online ad they had seen, according to Wall St. Cheat Sheet. A TubeMogul study confirms this, with more than 20 percent of online video viewers correctly associating marketing messages with their respective video advertising.

Making Your Video Stand Out

These studies definitely back up the idea that video advertising is a highly effective marketing tool, but as with any media, smart use of this tool can make all the difference. So how can you make your video ads stand out among the plethora of ads already playing before and during videos? Keep it short, try to make the content appealing and explain your product or pitch in clear language. Video ads give marketers a chance to let products speak for themselves in a way that reaches consumers directly, so it's important not to waste the captive attention of video watchers. A short, concise and clear video can make an impression on viewers that will boost your brand and, hopefully, not get your video ad lumped in with all the other "annoying" ads dominating the landscape.

Though video advertising on the Web is certainly a newer form of advertising than traditional print or TV ads, the fact is that it has already proven itself as a viable way to reach consumers, particularly young demographics. Marketers who use this technology in smart, concise ways are sure to see significant gains.

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Topics: Video Advertising

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