Programmatic Ad Formats Mini-Series: Video
July 06, 2018
As we continue our mini-learning series on programmatic ad formats, today we’ll be taking a closer look at programmatic video advertising.
The quantity of digital and offline media available to users today is growing at an exponential rate. Audiences are bombarded with massive amounts of information, such that it is impossible for a user to acknowledge everything they are exposed to. If we are trying to convince users to give us their attention, shouldn’t we use an ad format they prefer? A large quantity of research points to a preference for video when it comes to content consumption. Utilizing programmatic video enables marketers to increase the likelihood of their videos reaching the right audience in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
A Forbes study from last year sites a third of the time that people spend online is dedicated to watching videos. It also claims that nearly 60% of people would rather watch a video than read a wall of text.
In addition, we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text so, video is a way to convey a message almost automatically as the user is passively receiving information. While reading text requires cognitive thought and attention, video hands us the information we need while playing into the viewer’s feelings.
In the past few years we have seen programmatic video grow at unprecedented rates, as seen in the graph below. EMarketer estimates programmatic buys will make up 79.3% of all US video ad spending by 2019.
What kinds of video advertising can I use to reach my target audience?
There are a number of different video advertising formats that can be distinguished into 2 large categories: host initiated video autoplay and user-initiated video play. We will take you through a few different video ad formats here.
Autoplay Video Advertising
Autoplay video advertising means that the user is forced to view the full duration of the video advertisement before or after consuming their desired content. Here are a few different types of autoplay video advertisements that users can access:
A pre-roll ad is a promotional video that plays before the content that the user has selected (hence the “pre”). These video advertisements have often been repurposed television ads, sometimes shortened to 10 or 15 seconds instead of the traditional 30 second format. Pre-roll videos are the most common form of video advertisements.
Mid-roll simply means advertisers can run their advertisements during the content the user is watching. This advertisement would be inserted at the midpoint of video content. It has a similar feeling to a standard television commercial as it does interrupt continuous viewing. Some say that users are more likely to watch a mid-roll ad because they are already engaged in the content they are consuming and less likely to turn away.
A post-roll video ad is built in the same way as pre-roll, except it plays after a viewer has completed watching their desired content.
User-Initiated Video Advertising
User-initiated video advertising means that the user has some ability to control their viewing of the content. Following are some of the types of user-initiated video advertising:
Skipstream video advertisements are similar to YouTube’s TrueView product, where they allow users to skip video content after a certain time period has passed, usually 5 seconds.
A choiceroll video advertisement occurs when the viewer is given the choice of 2 in-stream ads (ads that are optional to play when content is complete). Once selected, they must watch at least 30 seconds before being given the option to switch).
There are even more different types of video ads that marketers can use to reach their target consumers online, for a full overview of video options, get in touch with us.
Aside from the type of video ad you choose to use, the next most important element is the length. Video advertisements sizes have been shrinking in size, with some platforms offering 2-second ad creative lengths. Brands have not been convinced that a 2-second video ads can be beneficial and continue to challenge marketers to do better with their advertising, instead of believing that simply asking for less time from viewers, means they’ll give it to you.
We believe that marketers should reflect on their primary goal for video advertising, and ensure the video length is reflective of that goal.
Ready For More?
Every year there is a worthwhile report posted by the IAB on Digital Video Advertising Best Practices that can be found here.