A lot of advertisers will often focus on a single form of advertising when creating a campaign for a client but it turns out, diversification is more vital than some think. The question is, what are the best combinations of advertising. Some reports in the past have said using TV, online video and print combined works best. Some others, like the one I'll be talking about today, have suggested that print is dead (not in so many words) and that online video is the key. Now the question remains, should it be paired with display or TV or something else?
Adap.tv and Digiday did some digging and pulled together some numbers together to give you some insight into where you might want to be spreading your advertising dollars. They polled the Digiday user base and got a cross section of online video users that included; agencies, brands, publishers and ad networks or DSPs. There were 638 respondents and they were incentivized with chances to win conference passes and/or the tablet of their choice.
Here's the break down.
It was conducted in late March and early April of 2012 from the universe of Digiday subscribers, conference attendees and speakers who themselves represent digital media and marketing professionals.
Video Ads + ?? Are Best
Right out of the gate, almost half of the respondents said that online video advertising should be more aligned with TV over display. But 40% did say that display was the right alignment. The remaining 11% thought it might need to be its own medium and that means it would need to be seen completely differently. I think it's more like a mixture of TV and display in that it's interactive like display ads but contains far more content per second of viewing, like TV does. If I had been asked, I would have been hard pressed to say one or the other and might have been in that 11% minority.
However, only 10% stated they believed that online video advertising was a replacement for TV advertising, while 62% said it would complement it. That's an increase of 6% for the latter from 2011 so it shows that people are starting to see the power of a combined TV/online video campaign.
33%, up from 28% in 2010, said it was neither. The report takes that to mean they believe online video stands alone in the minds of those respondents. They didn't put the actual wording of the question in the report so it's hard to know if what those 33% meant was that they're not doing TV advertising because in the report it says, "their use of online video is more likely to be a complement to TV rather than a replacement for TV." If they're not doing TV advertising and the question was "do you feel online video complements or replaces your TV advertising?" then the answer would be neither, right?
One Metric to Rule Them All
Yes, I've used that sub-header in the past. When I do that, it generally means there's an ongoing thread in the industry, and in my mind, which needs to be addressed. For example "When is a View a View?" which I think has been addressed but not really ever formalized. There are probably ten uses or variations of that which I've used in the last year.
This time round, it's once again talking about the unification of TV and online video metrics is a unifying factor. Yet, already this year there have been numerous announcements of just that. It could be that the survey was done before some recent GRP announcements starting trickling out as I think they were mid/late April. In fact, another just slid across my desk today from Brightroll who is offering iGRP measurement for in-flight audience statistics.
Regardless, it's abundantly clear that a comparable metric is required between TV and online video advertising. I do not believe it should ever be the only metric that is taken into consideration because, as I said before, online video advertising has all manner of other things that make it unique like interactivity, but I do believe that traditional TV advertisers do need a way to compare ROI between TV and online video to truly see the value in the latter.
So then the question remains, what is that one metric to bind them all?
Well there's the rub. It seems that agencies and brands are sort of split on what that should be. Brands want it to be brand engagement, a full 73% of respondents agreed. However, click through, which I think should be important but requires more tracking because I often accidentally click through a video ad trying to pause a video, etc. is still debated amongst them. Agencies say it's not at all important while brands placed it third. In fact, they think it so important it topped TV-like metrics.
Screen Convergence Beats Metrics Convergence
Much to my satisfaction is the report's paragraph on connected TV ad spend. If you read my articles often, you know I have been telling everyone to get their ducks in a row and get their video ads out to connected TVs. Did you all listen? If you did you probably got some good rates and probably had ease of getting inventory. Now, it looks like things are going to heat up in connected TV advertising. Both advertisers and publishers jumped in regards to ad spend and support for connected TVs over last year. A full 20% leap for advertisers and a cool 9% more publishers in fact.
Clearly, there is a group that realizes the power of connected TV. The report seemed mystified over why all these people are moving toward it as an additional 38% said it would be in the plan within 12 months. They suggested Apple TV... I like to think I had a hand in it. Did I? Have you or are you working on connected TV advertising because of ReelSEO?
Alright, enough seeking validation for our work and back to the work at hand.
Ad Spend Sands Shifting
Nearly everyone sees ad spend increasing for online video. Brands, agencies and ad networks were almost unanimously together (93%) in their belief that ad spend for online video would increase around 23%. On top of that, 80% of publishers stated average online video ad CPMS saw increases of 11% and 83% of them said ad fill rates for online video ads was up around 14% on average over last year.
Is TV bundled with online video ads? Pfft... Actually the broadcast and cable companies in the mix were split nearly dead center 52/48 on that with the minority saying they do bundle. This is part of what I see as the problem, the cable companies are still fighting online video, as evidenced by their attempts to push Hulu to require pay TV authentication for users instead of openly embracing it and trying to make the most out of the situation. If they were smart, they would be giving consumers reasons to plug those connected TVs into the network to further expand revenue through advertising. As it stands, around 1-in-5 US households has a connected TV, but most don't connect it to the Internet.
I think that bundling of online video and TV ads could have far-reaching impact on the industry. When combined with things like real-time bidding ad exchanges and cross-network purchasing it could create a marketplace that premium publishers would want to get involved in. Instead, many of them only do private placements of ads through their own ad sales force. If they were able to get top dollar for their inventory through an ad network and RTB exchange they might be willing to loosen up the restrictions on using them. That's something that the online video ad network industry needs to address but there are numerous other problems that would need to be addressed as well.
Some video ad networks are working on things to help increase ad bundling and metrics convergence already and that's a step in the right direction. I think that getting major publishers on board and believing they can get top dollar for their inventory through an exchange or ad network is going to be vital to continued growth and might even be the linchpin in bundling TV and online video one day.