GLOBAL: With an ever-expanding list of video ad options, marketers must evaluate platforms based upon a set of fundamental elements and make impartial assessments of their ability to build brand success, according to a leading industry figure.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, The role of premium multi-screen video in an ad campaign (where the subject is defined as the professionally produced content of television, accessed by different methods and devices, and cinema), Marianne Vita, Vice President, Strategic Insights at the Video Advertising Bureau, explains that while the relevance and centrality of television and cinema is sometimes called into question, these channels still play important roles in the new video-agnostic landscape.

She sets out six elements to consider when assessing the strength of a video ad platform, starting with reach and scale, reach being “a foundational element to establishing and building a brand”.

In this context, she notes that, in any given minute, the audience watching TV branded content (either on TV or online) is ten times larger than the audience viewing YouTube. When attempting a cross-platform analysis, Average Audience – which combines unique audience reach and time spent – is recommended as a useful metric to make apples-to-apples comparisons of viewership across devices/platforms.

Business demands mean that a platform has also to be able to move consumers through the purchase funnel and drive sales, either short-term or long-term. The practice of second-screening demonstrates how TV is no longer a passive viewing experience as up to two thirds of of consumers have looked up information on a product they saw advertised on a TV show.

Vita’s third element is whether a platform offers programming that makes an emotional connection with viewers. This is most likely to be generated by professionally produced, ‘must-see’ content that TV excels in; even on the major streaming platforms the “most enjoyed” content is not their own original programming but acquired TV and movies.

Similarly, such content is more likely to insinuate itself into popular culture and influence daily lives and conversations – an important consideration for brands wanting to be relevant and top of mind.

A video platform ought also to offer advanced targeting capabilities, attribution, and measurement capabilities, says Vita. Increasingly sophisticated multi-touch attribution now allows for ‘partial credit’ instead of full ‘last click’ attribution for each relevant exposure in the funnel and has shown television is responsible for significantly more sales than historically credited.

Finally, a platform should offer a brand-building environment and transactions should be fully verifiable and transparent – areas in which TV and cinema score far higher than, say, social media channels.

Sourced from WARC