We’ve watched, winced and waited for some time, too long, now we have to say something. It’s been horrible to watch all that money wasted, we feel for marketing teams being led by agencies (and media co’s) for whom the penny has still not dropped. Online video advertising is not like TV so please everyone stop persevering with it.
Pre-roll ads (the 10-60 second bit that are loaded up before the content you actually want to watch) are how media companies make their money in video. They get a certain amount of money per ad they serve and it’s a massively growing business hence media co’s are falling over themselves to make more and more.
Pre-roll ads are also the most hated advertising in media, nudging ahead of pop-ups (which seem to be being used to play video!!). A study from Metrix showed that 94% of users skipped pre-roll ads. (the other 6% must be the creatives). This correspondent has had to stop using his favourite website due to ‘autoplayed’ video that serves up some 30 second ad.
Now, we know media companies aren’t getting the views they want for their content, fact. A significant reason being pre-rolls (the other is about making the right content and not having a large enough audience in the first place). So how to make video ‘monetisation’ (as the industry likes to call it) acceptable?
1. Few companies are selling sponsorship. Buyers still insist on cost per views and views aren’t big enough for that. A complete re-working and understanding of the value of sponsorship is needed here.
2. Create 5 second pre-rolls that packs in the message – no panning across beautiful mountain ranges, no gently building music and atmosphere – just shout what you need and have some fun with it.
3. Test, try and test again. Creative and production costs should be a tenth of the cost of TV advertising giving the opportunity to find the right message.
4. Get creative directors who understand the internet.
If you persist with the current way of doing things, we will all witness the death knell of video stories and sadly it will be destroyed by trying to make something work that doesn’t.
You have been warned!