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EU campaigns neglect online video

News, 21 June 2016

LONDON: As the EU referendum campaign enters its final few days, a new survey suggests that both sides of the debate have missed a trick by not making greater use of paid online video.

While one might expect such a claim from Tubemogul, an online video advertising platform, it did poll a significant number of UK voters – 39,613 in all – and found that just 8% had seen a Vote Leave video ad online and a mere 6% a Vote Remain one, Marketing Week reported.

"This is a missed opportunity," said Matthew Dybwad, TubeMogul's head of political and public affairs, and particularly for the Remain side.

That's because Remain supporters tend to be younger and in the same demographic that consumes much of its media online, unlike older Leave supporters; Tubemogul said there was an opportunity for Remain to reach these supporters and encourage them to turn out to vote this Thursday.

"Too often, campaign media buyers run back to the notion of 1,000 gross rating points on TV as the only metric that moves the needle," said the US-based Dybwad.

"They don't always fully understand the power of digital to change the narrative," he added.

And he pointed to recent US experience in support of his argument that online video works.

"The Sanders campaign in the US proved it as he used powerful video creative to carry his populist message to channels where Millennials get their content: online, mobile, social and connected devices.

"Converting target audiences into activists and donors with digital advertising is often far more attractive because start-up costs are lower and it's far easier to scale quickly," said Dybwad.

Quite apart from ensuring people actually see a video, both sides will need to work on the quality of the content.

Of the 31% of respondents who had seen some form of Brexit ad – whether from the official Vote Leave campaign or another body – three quarters said they found the messages irrelevant.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff