Online video falling short in UK

25 April 2011

LONDON: Online video advertising is largely failing to make a mark with UK consumers, a study has revealed.

Consultancy Deloitte and research firm YouGov surveyed 2,000 people, asking respondents what types of internet ads exerted the strongest impact on purchase decisions.

Just 17% mentioned pre-roll video clips within their top three on this metric, down from 28% two years ago, and 3% afforded them the highest weight overall.

Scores rose among 14-17 year olds, 22% of which awarded pre-roll a position in the three best-performing kinds of web advertising.

"The group we might expect to be most responsive - teenagers - are only marginally more open to pre-roll," said Andrew Haughton, a Deloitte media analyst.

"It could be argued that pre-roll advertising should be targeting particular segments of the audience, rather than all consumers."

Post-roll yielded similarly underwhelming numbers, and was placed in the three premier ad categories by a modest 9% of the panel.

Ads embedded in videos logged 14% here, a 1% lift on an annual basis, and reaching 32% when breaking out totals from 14-17 year olds.

However, such ratings can be measured against the combined 77% received by paid-for and organic search results, and 60% for natural listings alone on sites like Google and Bing.

"Consumer feedback tells us that video is well down the list as an influential ad format," said Haughton.

"The novelty of video advertising two years ago, and the hype around it, means consumers may have overstated their preference for it at that time and the figures now are becoming more realistic."

"The findings also indicate greater familiarity with more established formats, like search and banners, for some segments of the population."

A parallel movement has been observed in the US, where the share of netizens naming pre-roll as one of the three leading ad buys slipped from 29% to 24% year on year.

"Video clearly engages consumers and is growing fast, yet the influence of video advertising is heading in the other direction," Haughton concluded.

"Advertisers and agencies need to find a way, through creativity, or new video formats, or new methods of engagement, to reverse this trend if online video is to win similar influence to search."

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff