Know how to buy online video ads

by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded  |

In my view, video is going to become more dominate on the web. It seems like a natural fit since it utilizes almost all of the capabilities the web has to offer. One core marketing principle is, the more senses you engage, the more effective your ads. Video delivers sight and sound verses just sight on text heavy sites or only still pictures. It stands to reason, video ads will become a larger part of where the online ad money is spent. For those who may not know the business of buying video ads work, here is an overview.

• There are three main types of videos: user initiated, autoplay, and pay-to-watch.
Autoplay – The least effective of the three, this type of ad starts playing automatically, which annoys most viewers who either turn off the sound or just click another page just to get rid of the ad.
User initiated – This ad asks the viewer to click on the ad in return for a reward or value of some sort.
Pay-to-watch – is the blend of the first two. Viewers know they must view the ad (autoplay), but they are rewarded by being able to view their desired video for free.

The key here is know what you are buying. Often, many sites bundle these types of ad views, so you may be paying for views that you may not wish to be a part of. The shift now is to separate these views into their own category. The point is know your “Conditions of Play” and buy accordingly.

• Page adjacency – This refers to the page on which your ad appears. Often, marketers don’t have a choice on where their ads appear and next to what content. This is dangerous. As you can play it out in your mind, your ad selling a shoot ’em up video game is displayed next to an article where congress is debating on regulating the violence in video games. Not a great placement. You ad will sometimes run in the wrong space, which means, it’s on a web site it has no business being on. Make sure you ask for the list of all the sites your ads may appear on and negotiate what sites they can not appear on and pay accordingly. Do this before the campaign and verify after the campaign. This is one area, magazines still can give advertisers superior control over the environment their ads are being placed.

• Stream adjacency – This is something many marketers may have very little control over. You want your ad to be grouped with appropriate “neighbors”. It’s guilt by association. For example, a Sierra Mist pre-roll that led into a video about a naked hobo Santa wielding an oversized marital aid or Cindy Crawford’s Propel pre-roll followed by a raunchy clip glorifying male sex organs. This is the most difficult to manage. You may have gotten the right list of sites. You have selected the appropriate Conditions of Play, but all of that is sunk because your ad is steaming before or after an ad or video that is completely counter to what your brand stands for. In this case, you need to vet who’s in your ad group.

By being aware of these ideas can save you time and money in the PR department on explaining why your brand is being associated with the wrong crowd. The spin on a popular saying is, “It takes a lifetime to create a brand and only 30-seconds to destroy it.”

About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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