Web video ads need new measurement model

08 October 2010

LONDON: Advertisers in the UK need to take a more studied approach when assessing their online video campaigns, a report has argued.

Industry body the IAB and media group Sky commissioned a year-long study appraising the potential impact of internet video advertising.

Research firm Decipher was tasked with analysing 24 campaigns run by eleven brands and encompassing five formats, based both on testing and data drawn from 6,000 respondents.

These figures covered six websites discussing distinct topics, ranging from news to entertainment and sport.

While 6% of people recalling a video ad clicked to make “an immediate purchase”, a further 54% sought out information or made an acquisition in their own time.

As such, the IAB/Sky report suggested clickthrough rates may not be the “best measure” to determine the efficacy of online campaigns.

Elsewhere, pre-roll ads with a corresponding banner yielded the greatest recall, registering a score of 47% overall.

“The qualitative stage of the research indicated that this higher performance was linked to user anticipation, and therefore increased attention levels of the audience,” the study said.

Pre-roll ads alone recorded 44%, standing at 43% for branded video players, 37% for post-roll clips and 36% concerning in-stream overlays.

The “user journey” to content influenced this metric, with 53% of consumers recollecting an ad having accessed material via a specified link, and 48% when actively looking for particular subject matter.

Where netizens were “just browsing”, results declined to 39%, with recommendations from friends and family also acting as a driver of recognition.

Similarly, stronger totals followed when participants were working, on 44%, than at home, on 39%, although the opposite was true for clickthroughs.

If users enjoyed content, they were 10% more likely to remember the associated commercial messages featured.

Some 47% of the panel stated ads accompanying entertainment content were most appropriate, and 46% held such an opinion for TV shows, but only 17% agreed after considering user-generated material.

Turning to direct response campaigns, branded video players secured a 1.23% clickthrough frequency, largely because they provided an impressive dwell time.

Pre-roll and banner combinations delivered 0.89% , with post-roll on 0.83%, pre-roll on 0.77% and overlays on 0.16%, and often described as disruptive.

“Online viewing behaviour is every bit as deep and granular as TV viewing,” said Hamish McPharlin, director of research, Decipher.

“The context in which viewers encounter your ad is equally significant, whether by day part, viewing environment, or site context, and the impact goes far beyond the click-through.”

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff