Break Media recently released their Digital Video Advertising Trends 2011 report that was done in partnership with Advertiser Perceptions. I've picked and pulled at it in several pieces lately and I just today found yet another interesting piece of information to chew one. Pre-roll video ads are still the preferred method of ad delivery for advertisers even though some 57% are aware of Ad selectors (giving the consumer a choice on which ad they see).
Now all the current research points to the fact that consumers like choice and that the ad selector is by far, more welcome by consumers than just having ads foisted on them that they have no interest in and ultimately more effective (see here and here). 36% of advertisers still prefer to use pre-rolls, more than 2:1 over the second favorite format (expandable banners).
Exactly why do they love it so? 40% said because, directly from the research, the audience is "held hostage to watch" and thus the format "garners the most attention from the viewer.”
That's an extremely negative way to look at it. If you, as an advertiser, believe that consumers are captive and will pay attention to pre-roll ads just because they are there, then you're way out of touch with reality. In fact, that sentence makes me laugh. If you really feel the need to hold your audience hostage and force feed them advertisements, then perhaps your advertisements suck. Either that or the products you are pushing suck, or in that rare case, both SUCK.
Another 25% love pre-roll because the format has the "best completion rates," "best performance" or "best ROI." Those are far better reasons to use pre-roll than you thinking that consumers will watch, wide-eyed and gape-jawed just because you stuff content in front of them.
Is it any wonder so many consumers are anti-advertiser? You seem to have not quite caught on. Consumers want choice. Not only choice in what they consume, but how they consume it. Force feeding of anything is generally going to have far less positive effects than negative ones. In fact, many of us will simply turn off or multitask while having certain ads forced upon us. I, for one, go check email when I'm forced to sit through pre-rolls. Then again, if the content is short enough and available in multiple locations, I will take the time to find a source without a pre-roll and simply not watch your ad at all. Yes, even if that search takes longer than simply sitting and watching the ad.
This is not a war against the consumers like you make it out to be. They are not enemies that need to be held captive. They are comrades that you need to embrace in a brotherly fashion. Hurling such negative vibes at consumers is not going to win you any brownie points, nor will it keep them viewing your stupid advertisements. Sheesh, haven't any of you learned anything in all this time in the industry?
Don't you get it? Don't you understand why we love our DVR, time-shifting, commercial-skipping technology so much? It's because it allows us to AVOID YOU! You're like the ex-lover who will never go away. You just keep showing up everywhere we turn, at work, at home, on our mobile phones. You're like…a stalker. You keep thrusting yourselves upon us. Whatever are we to do but to use everything at our disposal to avoid you? We change the places we hang out. We get new phone numbers. We enlist the help of friends like Ad blockers and ad-free services and when all else fails, we simply ignore you in hopes that you'll one day get a freakin' clue and simply leave us alone.
Break Media and Advertiser Perception did and maybe they can help you.
With advertisers using an average of three video ad formats in the past year, we are not convinced a sufficient range of formats have been experienced to conclude pre-roll is most effective.The industry potentially could increase advertisers' return-on-investment by helping them match ad formats to ad objectives and assessing the effectiveness of each format at the conclusion of a campaign.
So get a freakin' clue already.