Video advertising would appear to be a powerful brand-building tool. But it is also an expensive tool and advertisers need proof video advertising is driving the desired result in order to justify continued investment. In the absence of real-time data on overall campaign performance and that of the creative, placement, and frequency levels driving the performance, a lot of money can be spent without producing the desired outcome. When proactively managed, however, advertisers and the publishers they work with can create impressive results. At Vizu, we’ve measured and optimized hundreds of video campaigns from top brands ranging from Disney and Microsoft to ACE Hardware and McDonalds and in the process learned quite a few things that may be useful to brand advertisers looking to leverage video to maximum effect:
Video is inherently a branding medium. As with any online brand ad campaign, measure and optimize against relevant metrics. Click-through rates are irrelevant and “engagement” only provides an indirect measurement of the desired result; focus on what matters (awareness, purchase intent, etc) and optimize against relative brand lift metrics.
Online video can vary in length from a few seconds to minutes. Tailor the length of your video to your desired objective, and leverage real-time data on performance to optimize brand lift. For example, we worked on a campaign with BBE, ScanScout, and YuMe to promote the launch of the HoodieBuddie (the world’s first hooded sweatshirt with ear-buds built right into the drawstrings) where a 15 second spot outperformed the 30 second spot in driving brand awareness, while the longer 30 second spot drove greater purchase intent, in fact, a 75.8% lift in purchase intent.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, assuming video performs simply because its video. Experiment with different types of video creative execution and placement, leveraging real-time performance data to shift the campaign’s focus to what’s working. In the HoodieBuddie campaign, impressions were shifted from underperforming video units to higher performing video units, increasing brand lift. The result of optimizing against brand lift metrics produced some eye popping results:
-204.9% increase in brand awareness
-75.8% increase in purchase intent
-Ultimately translating to a 62% increase in daily sales.
Online video may be more expensive than standard display advertising, but it’s much less expensive than television advertising. Use online video as a fast, cost effective test environment for developing effective television advertising.
While the HoodieBuddie campaign helped BBE, ScanScout, and YuMe prove the effectiveness of video when measuring brand lift vs. clicks, it wasn't an anomaly. For example, here is what we learned working with an entertainment company to promote the release of a new block-buster movie:
Entertainment campaigns are best driven by certain types of ads, particularly those that provide a teaser to the movie or program content. In this particular case, the majority of the brand lift was driven by a click-to-play trailer. Impressions were shifted to this trailer in order to increase brand lift.
Entertainment campaigns often drive the greatest brand lift in a frequency range of 3-5 exposures. In this particular case, brand lift was optimized with 5 exposures, at which point the frequency was capped to increase reach and maximize the return on advertising spend. Look at the results:
-69% lift in intent to see the movie
-30% lift in actual attendance
Given their short duration, real-time data on overall campaign performance and the elements driving the performance — frequency, creative, and placement - are key to measuring and optimizing entertainment campaign results. Leverage technology to gain access to real-time data.
A recent IAB report found that video advertising is projected to grow 22% in the next 12 months, and that video will take up more of the overall ad budget, moving up to an average of 17% in that same period. That is likely, however, only the tip of the iceberg. Brand advertisers spend $70 billion dollars annually on TV advertising, without being able to ensure they produce the desired result – brand lift. Online video advertising offers many of the same benefits as television at a lower cost, with the added benefit of being able to optimize campaigns in market to maximize brand lift and the return on advertising investment. Does anyone smell an opportunity?