CHICAGO: The advertising industry's definition of an online video "view" does not allow enough time for three quarters of viewers to identify the brand or product being sold, according to a new survey.

STRATA, a supplier of media buying and selling software, polled 654 online video watchers aged over 18 and found that just 25% were able to identify a brand or product in a video ad within the two seconds minimum stipulated by the Media Rating Council.

Fully 75% needed at least three seconds to do so and 44% of all respondents reported it took them at least four seconds to recognise the brand or product at hand.

The survey also looked at the issue of ad skipping as 41% of viewers hit "skip this ad" before they recognised a brand or product.

Time was the main factor, with 40% of respondents saying they skipped video ads because they were in a hurry; other reasons for skipping included an ad being run repeatedly (20%), being too long (15%), or not being targeted (12%).

The effectiveness of targeted advertising was mixed as the survey showed that advertisers were more likely to target women correctly than men, and even then the strike rate was not especially high.

Of those that said they were targeted correctly most of the time, 57% were women compared to 43% of men.

Further, 18% of online video ad watchers actually found targeted ads more invasive than non-targeted ones.

Laying aside these reservations, however, targeted advertising can be a good tool to attract viewer attention. One third of respondents said they would voluntarily watch an ad if it was targeted to their interests, but humour and entertainment were the top two tools.

STRATA also found that most respondents (77%) would not pay a premium to avoid online ads, although 19% were prepared to pay up to $5 per month.

And around half of respondents said TV ads and online video ads were equally "annoying", but 36% said online video ads were more annoying.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff