LONDON: Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Marks & Spencer are among the UK advertisers taking advantage of the opportunities provided by online video to connect with consumers.

ComScore, the research firm, estimated that over 6.5bn videos were played back using the web during July 2010, a 30% improvement year-on-year.

Samsung, the electronics manufacturer, made substantial use of YouTube when promoting a new 3D LED TV set, premiering its TV spot on this portal's homepage.

According to YouTube, Samsung received an additional 4% reach, and a third of people consuming the commercial through on its pages did not see it on TV.

"In the past it was simply enough to take the TV ad and look for incremental reach where possible," said Ben Walsh, senior campaign planning manager, Samsung.

"While incremental reach is still a key metric, we understand that the online viewer is better able to engage with Samsung, and more receptive to the opportunity too. They want more."

Sony Ericsson, the mobile specialist, has developed an entertainment series, Pocket TV, securing audiences of around 10m per episode thus far.

"The evolution of digital media has led to people changing the ways they consume video content," said David Hilton, marketing director UK, Sony Ericsson.

"Mobile entertainment is at the heart of our products so we've made sure people can watch Pocket TV on their mobile as well as online via YouTube and through their TV via PS3."

Marks & Spencer, the high-street retail chain, has also rolled out an internet television channel, for which it is currently developing a makeover show.

"The launch of M&S TV has given us a range of benefits including an average 23% increase in basket size," said Simon Wood, Marks & Spencer's head of ecommerce.

"Now we are extending the remit of M&S TV into new areas ... We hope to offer an increasingly personal service to customers that is relevant, engaging and building long-term loyalty with the brand."

Elsewhere, insurance provider Swiftcover ran pre-roll ads on video-on-demand platforms like ITV Player and Channel4's 4oD.

Catherine Laughton, digital marketing manager at Swiftcover, revealed the resulting 4% clickthrough rate was above the industry norm.

"Considering video is really a branding tool, the best part of the campaign for us was that we saw an uplift in brand awareness of 24% for those who had been exposed to the video campaign compared to those who had not," she added.

Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, is also more active in the new media arena, such as with Old Spice's recent "Smell Like a Man, Man" campaign in the US.

"The power of the internet has meant that content is now king," said James Nunn, brand communications manager UK & Ireland, at P&G.

"At P&G we've found that consumers are becoming increasingly influenced by the presence that brands have in this space and the statements they make online.

"Online content that's engaging is a great way to build on traditional, above-the-line campaigns to develop a holistic brand community and reach all our consumers wherever and whenever they are most receptive."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff