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Engagement with incentivized video ads (which allow viewers to opt-in and be rewarded for watching) is highest among consumers aged 55 and older, according to [pdf] September 2012 findings from Jun Group, and lowest in the 18-34 demographic. Engagement reaches 4.35% in the 55+ segment, and is second-highest among 35-54-year-olds, at 3.49%. The younger demographics show lower engagement rates: just 2.87% in the 18-34 segment, and 3.44% in the 12-17 group.

Compared to industry averages, incentivized opt-in video ads deliver far higher completion (98% vs. 64% for a 30-second video) and engagement (3.5% vs. 1.2%) rates, details “The State of Opt-In Video & Consumer Engagement,” which examined a sample of 7.7 million user-initiated video ad views between May and August 2012.

Web Visits Rise, Facebook Falls In Post-View Activity

In terms of post-view activity, visiting a brand’s Facebook page is the leading action (31% share), however, that figure is down 9% points from a year ago. Visits to advertisers’ websites (28% share) are up more than 20% points, with consumers motivated to learn more about a brand, download coupons, and locate a store, among other activities. Replays account for 21% of post-view activity, and visits or posts to YouTube 17%. Emails and tweets accounted for 1% each.

Ad Length Impacts Completion Rates, but Not Engagement

Despite the perception that consumers are unlikely to watch a video longer than 15 seconds, length has a relatively low impact upon completion rates for opt-in video ads. While the completion rate trended downward alongside length, lowest for ads over 2 minutes, it was still 87%. This did not represent a dramatic drop from the 98% completion rate for 30-second ads and 99% rate for 15-second ads.

In an August report, FreeWheel noted that video ad completion rates have been trending higher, hit their highest rates in 2 years in Q2 for both mid- and short-form content. Mid-form content refers to content 5-20 minutes in length, and the average completion rate for ads served during these videos reached 80% in Q2, up from 76% in Q1 and 71% in Q2 2011.

Completion is not engagement, however, and video length has less impact on engagement rates, finds Jun Group. While in 2011, videos over one minute long drove the highest engagement (4%), in the sampled time frame this year, videos between 30 and 60 seconds were first (4.5%), followed by videos 2 minutes or longer (3.72%).

Engagement rises with precise targeting. Ads that used a pre-screening question that resonated with a viewer (e.g., “Do you enjoy cooking?” and “Are you in the market for a new car?”) increased the likelihood of that viewer interacting with the brand by 13%. Overall, ads with pre-screen questions garnered 3.94% engagement, compared to the 3.5% average.

Other Findings:

  • Repurposed TV ads saw an average engagement rate of 3.65%, while made-for-web content actually had a below-average engagement rate of 3.27%.
  • Engagement with opt-in video ads was slightly higher among women than men (3.31% vs. 3.17%).

About The Data: The Jun Group data is based on a sample of 7.7 million user-initiated video ad views between May and August 2012. Views were pulled from incentivized video campaigns created for Fortune 500 brands across a number of industries, including consumer packaged goods, apparel, consumer technology, retail, luxury products, fashion & beauty, sports and fitness and automotive.

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