Sometimes in life, you need to experience something before it really makes sense. A few months ago, my wife and I were snuggling in bed watching a favorite mindless reality TV show (which shall remain nameless) on my laptop. About every 10 minutes, the program was segmented by 3 or 4 thirty-second “TV-esque” ad spots. After stubbornly ignoring the first few cycles, curiosity got the better of me and I watched the ads. In so doing, I had unwittingly become one of the over 10 billion online video ads viewed by US Internet users in May of 2012.
I remember two ads distinctly, mainly because they were repeated over and over throughout the program (yes, repetition works). The first ad was for the Chase Ink credit card, the second for Lays potato chips. Genius that I am, halfway through the program it finally hit me: hey, are these ads click-able? If so, where do they link to? Moving my cursor over the streaming ad, I clicked away…
Needless to say, both ads were in fact click-able. The Chase ad led to a landing page where visitors could apply for the card; the Lays ad led to the brand’s Facebook page.
From a marketer’s perspective, online video ads such as these provide a double value:1) continuous repetition of the ads throughout the program fosters brand awareness, a common objective of many a TV spot; 2) their click-ability facilitates immediate and measurable action, the holy grail of marketing.
Granted, not everyone will assume that streaming online ads are click-able, at least not yet. However, as more consumers adopt smartphones and tablets and online interactive technologies improve, such functionality will be expected.
Marketers are beginning to shift their resources accordingly. eMarketer predicts that online video ad spend will reach $3.1 billion in 2012, a 54% year-on-year growth, whereas television ad spend is expected to increase just 6.8% from 2011 levels.
Considering that television advertising raked in $72 billion last year, online video still has a long way to go. Online video seems to be on the right side of the trend line, though. As Internet users become more accustomed to digesting video content on desktops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and now connected TV’s (Internet-enabled televisions), marketers will flock to online video advertising to take advantage of its click-ability and measurability.
In a way, it’s like getting a two-for-one deal. And who doesn’t like that?
Infographic courtesy of comScore Video Metrix