What Do UK Consumers Think About Video Advertising?
Video ad spend is on the rise.According to the latest figures from the IAB, spend on video advertising has grown 46% in the last 12 months - faster than another other category of online advertising - and has been a major driver in the overall 12.5% growth in total UK digital ad spend.Two reasons lie behind this growth. Firstly, online video consumption amongst UK consumers is growing rapidly - not only are we visiting 70%more video sites than we were in 2011, we're also spending longer on them. As the medium grows, so do the advertising opportunities.But the major driver is the effectiveness of the medium. Research shows that video advertising enjoys the highest dwell rates and dwell times of any form of online advertising, and the higher those metrics are the greater the impact on brand preference and the higher the propensity to convert. Some have even suggested that video advertising is more effective than traditional TV advertising.But as marketers queue up to invest their money in video advertising, is there a danger that the online video market could become saturated? Could consumers be pushed too far and the goose that laid the 'golden egg' of online advertising be compromised? It's for this reason that we found recent research on consumer attitudes to video advertising from premium video managed service provider QuickPlay Media so interesting.So what opinion do UK consumers have of online video ads? Well sentiment is pretty evenly split between those who are 'Not Bothered' by them (49% of the sample) and those who are actively 'Irritated' by them' (51% of the sample). It's in advertisers best interests not to drive the 'Not Bothered' into the 'Irritated' camp, because the latter are active ad avoiders - 43% look for an option to skip the ad and 7% stop watching the video altogether. How do they do this? By making their ads relevant (9% weren't bothered by video ads as long as the ad was relevant), short (14% were happy as long as the ad interruption was fairly short) and relatively infrequent ( 14% weren't bothered as long as there were fewer interruptions than on regular TV.)The research delved deeper into the issue of frequency and placement and found that, for the most part, video advertising was operating within acceptable limits. The research sample was asked about the expected level of ads and the acceptable number of ads in 3 broad categories - pre the video, during the video and post the video.Only ads during the video seemed to have breached acceptable limits (1.69 ads expected vs. 1.6 ads acceptable). The sample were most tolerant of pre video advertising (2.16 ads acceptable), although the scope to increase the number of ads served in this period seemed to be limited (2.06 ads expected). Consumers were slightly less tolerant of post video ads (2.06 ads acceptable) but from a media owners' perspective, this category seemed to offer the greatest scope for growth (1.56 ads expected).Despite many finding ads irritating, the good news for video advertisers is that most of the sample did seem to accept that video advertising was a necessary evil to be tolerated to keep their online video viewing free. Only 15% were prepared to pay more to skip ads and only 21% were prepared pay for completely ad free services.So what are the learnings from this research for video advertisers and media owners? Well, advertisers need to work harder on making ads relevant and ensuring that they're tailored to the environment i.e. short. The 30 second standard TV ad format is not necessarily acceptable online. Failure on either front will drive the proportion irritated by video ads up from 1/2 to nearer the 3/4 mark.Media owners need to be aware that ads served during the video are the least tolerated and too many slots - defined by more than viewers would expect to see on regular TV - will drive a further 14% of consumers from the 'not bothered' to the 'irritated' camp.Adhere to those principles and video advertising will continue to be the most effective form of online advertising. Flout them and there's a real danger this particular goose's golden eggs may lose some of the lustre.