Clicks do not equal success: Previously, advertisers were mostly interested in whether web video produced as many clicks as banners do. But, “Video is about images that win the hearts and minds of consumers,” not direct-response sales. If a client is sending celebrities to a remote location to a do a beautiful $1 million shoot, they can’t be focused simply on how many click-throughs it generated. It’s more of a brand building exercise. Clients are becoming more sophisticated about this.
Small video players are not OK: Sometimes video ads are run in tiny little players at the side of web pages, where viewers can’t see them. And even if viewers do see them, the graphics — words, logos, etc. — may run so small as to be lost. “It’s nearly an embarrassment [what publishers get away with], they’re smaller than a banner ad. You can hardly see the words. The agencies are simply not paying attention.”
Don’t ambush the viewer: When you’re watching video content, you may expect to see a video ad. But if you’re reading a text-based story and a is playing in an auto-play banner off to the side, the result can be confusing. And advertisers may not be aware that they’re buying a “video” ad on a page not dedicated to video imagery. “It’s just distracting,” Krebs says. “It’s not a bad ad unit in itself, but there should be a different cost attributed to that.”
This is not a commodity business, and prices should not be equal: “If you walk into a Mercedes dealership and point out that a Ford is half the price, it’s a nonsensical argument. Everyone understands that. But somehow in digital no one is ascribing value to anyone but the creme de la creme, like Hulu, ABC,” Krebs says. All other publishers are engaged in a false competition based on price, not audience or content quality.
Don’t ignore the time of day: “This should be common sense. Just because a consumer is looking at a story about sports and they’re a 25-year-old male doesn’t mean they need to see that beer ad at 6 in the morning.” A lot of advertisers just run their video campaigns until their impressions and frequency caps are maxed out, regardless of whether the person on the other end is in a place to be receptive to them. The weekend is different from the workday. Morning is different from night. New York is not LA.
You can’t publish all video the same way: Agencies often talk about brands being publishers but then have zero strategy behind that, Krebs says. Not all video needs to be a 30-second preroll. Old Spice Guy, for instance, was initially a 30-second spot but to get the full effect viewers had to click through to YouTube and see several more minutes, across various videos, as Old Spice Guy responded to various requests on Twitter. Conversely, on niche sites devoted to special audiences, a 3-minute autoplay may be welcome and relevant to viewers. Ford has done a video on how to install a baby seat in a car, for instance. And Crest did one on dental health and pregnancy. Both were longform, Krebs says.