By Evan DeSimone
Americans are increasingly receptive to video advertising, provided that it’s presented in the right way and at the right time, according to a new study from digital agency Millward Brown.
While television ads are still the best-received among multi-screen consumers, the new data suggests that viewers are more engaged while consuming ads presented in online video formats. A survery of 13,500 individual video consumers in 42 countries found that 64% of viewers’ time is spent consuming television either live or on demand. However, this time is spent in what researchers term “lean-back mode,” meaning that consumers are relaxed and passively absorbing content. The remaining 36% of video consumption takes place on digital devices where viewers are in “lean-in mode,” meaning that they are actively engaged in goal oriented media consumption.
While television content is still king in terms of bulk consumption, active “leaned-in” viewers were found to be more receptive to specific ad copy provided that the right content as delivered at the right time. Targeted video advertising received a positive response if it was targeted based on the viewers demonstrated interests (43% receptive) and preferred brands (38% receptive). Less effective was ad targeting based on users web browsing history (19% receptive). Viewers in this category reported a feeling of being “stalked” by intrusive ad targeting.
The study also found that content remains critical. While ads presented in skippable pre-roll formats present a challenge for viewer retention, a focus on creative early in the ad generation process yielded stronger results that ads that put consumer targeting ahead of messaging.
Overall, the study is good news for the digital ad industry. Even in the age of ad blocking it’s possible to engage the consumer population more deeply on digital platforms than it is through traditional linear television. The use of targeting also proves effective provided that it doesn’t give viewers that sense of being spied upon or aggressively followed.