How Do Consumers Respond to No-Skip Video Ads?

Patrick Hanavan  | 

Marketers are having increasing success in building brand awareness through digital advertising. According to a new study conducted by GroupM and Kantar, premium non-skippable video advertising delivers strong brand metrics, including understanding key messages, in both premium and user-generated content environments.

The study, which was conducted in 2018 and included 2,460 participants, evaluated the performance of digital video ads for a haircare brand and a premium wine and found that the brands experienced significant improvements in awareness after viewing in-context video ads on premium (catch-up TV, in-stream short form and in-feed video) and UGC (Facebook and YouTube) platforms. But to get those results, creative assets have to be specifically tailored for delivery across different environments. Here are a few points that Kantar and GroupM executives emphasized as critical for getting the most brand impact out of digital video ads.

Fit-For-Purpose Creative
One of the most important findings revealed the difference between the UGC and premium environments for the two brands tested. It was viewers of in-context video ads on premium sites who absorbed the key message of the wine brand.

Kantar media and digital senior media consultant Allan Breiland said this underscores a distinct advantage of advertising in premium environments. Video ads can be delivered in full duration to viewers and the playback time helps forge an emotional as well as a rational connection with them. In that light, it’s not surprising that the study showed premium non-skippable environments had a stronger impact on brand metrics. The study also showed that digital video can be effective in all environments when the creative assets or content is designed for the specific platform and user experience.

People Not Performance Metrics
For example, in environments where ads may be skipped or ended prior to completion, it’s important to front-load the brand messaging to get the desired brand impact. GroupM digital strategy and investment officer Venessa Hunt noted that to date the digital industry has been far too focused on performance metrics when they should be studying how and why consumers are interacting with both content and ads in different environments.

Behavioral data from Kantar’s vast normative database shows the majority of audiences are not viewing the full ad in social environments that are skippable. In fact, in skippable environments about 44 per cent of people view a 15-second ad to completion, while in social spaces this drops to about 18 percent.

Content is Key
Diving deep into behavioral patterns can help shape the content for both platforms in ways that maximize brand building, Breiland said. For in-feed or skippable environments advertisers must deliver short, sharp messaging upfront to ensure at-a-glance viewers don’t just turn the ad off or ignore it completely. That means making the most of the first frame—the first few seconds—and keeping the copy simple. And while non-skippable environments offer advertisers a little more time to get their key messages across, being on point, in context and up front about how a brand can positively impact consumers is critical to ensure viewers don’t just click out of the video and off the site in irritation. Most consumers understand that advertisements can help make the content they love free or less expensive and thus will tolerate—even enjoy—advertising, but only if the content is engaging and relevant.

TV still rules for brands attempting to build awareness, but with the continuing convergence of TV and digital, it’s important to remember the incredible strength that digital can offer today’s brands in their quest to increase recognition.

Patrick Hanavan

Patrick Hanavan

Chief Client Officer, Co-Founder
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