Online video ad campaigns have a variety of objectives, but chief among them is brand engagement, find Digiday and Adap.tv in an April 2012 report [download page]. Surveying more than 600 agencies, brands, publishers, ad networks, and DSPs, the companies find that almost three-quarters of respondents view brand engagement as their primary video campaign objective, up from 68% last year, and more than quadruple the 18% who responded that way just 2 years ago. As a result, brand lift has shot to the top as the most popular metric for industry personnel, with 54% saying that it delivers the highest success, triple the 18% from last year.
Also growing in importance in the eyes of respondents are click-through (CTR) and completion rates. One-quarter said the former delivered a high success rate, up from 10% last year, while close to one-third said the same about completion rates, up from 18% in 2011. Although the popularity of the CTR metric has grown substantially, recent research from Vindico suggests that advertisers should pay more attention to completion rates. According to the Vindico report released in April 2012, users who complete an online video ad show greater interest in brand pages than those who arrive at the page by click. Based on an analysis of 30 billion video ad impressions it served in 2011, the company found that of viewers who navigated past the brands’ landing pages, 96% had previously completed the brands’ video ads without clicking, compared to just 4% who had clicked on the ads. And of those navigating to a checkout page, 98% had completed the brands’ video ads without clicking.
TV and Video Seen Complementary
Data from the Digiday and Adap.tv’s “Video State of the Industry Report Q1 2012” shows that industry personnel are viewing video as aligned with TV. In fact, when asked if video should be more aligned with TV or display, 49% chose the former, with only 11% voting for the latter. And this year, 62% of respondents said they see online video as a direct complement to TV, up from 56% in 2011, while just 10% see video as a replacement for TV.
Recent research from AdColony and Nielsen suggests that TV and online video can work in concert. Conducting their study at the CBS TV City Media Lab at MGM Las Vegas, the companies directed consumers to watch a 30-minute TV show and also engage with mobile and tablet devices. A 15-second ad played during the TV show for the movie Contraband, followed by a 15-second spot on the mobile devices using AdColony’s Instant-Play technology. Purchase intent among cross-screen viewers rose dramatically from 18% to 31%, and when compared to TV-only viewers, cross-screen viewers showed 69% higher brand recall (93% vs. 55%). Some of this could be attributable to the cross-screen viewers having watched the ad twice, but still demonstrates the potential for cross-platform video ads.
TV-Style Metrics Gain Traction
Meanwhile, given the increased focus on aligning with TV, the Digiday and Adap.tv survey found that a high proportion of respondents are looking to unified TV and video metrics, with roughly 9 in 10 saying these are most (13%), very (51%), or somewhat (28%) important. And this is reflected in the dramatic rise of TV-like metrics on their agenda. This year, 16% pointed to gross rating points (GRPs) as a successful metric, while 13% tabbed target rating points (TRPs), both up from just 1% last year.
- 23% of respondents are expecting to increase their video ad spend this year. Data from the IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that digital video advertising made up 5% of total online ad revenue in 2011, up from 4% a year earlier.
- 28% of advertisers and 26% of publishers are supporting connected TV this year, up from 8% and 17%, respectively, in 2011.
- The most popular sources for buying video inventory are ad networks (73%) and direct from publishers (72%), although exchanges (29% vs. 15%) and demand-side platforms (DSPs) (32% vs. 15%) grew rapidly year-over-year.
- Half of ad networks and DSPs are using real-time bidding (RTB), compared to 36% of advertisers and 17% of publishers.
- Just 1 in 5 brands are looking to TV upfronts for video, down from 44% last year. By contrast, the proportion of agencies looking to TV upfronts increased from 17% to 21%.
- In terms of data targeting, about three-quarters of advertisers are using 3rd party data, and 61% are using 1st party data.