In the last decade, the rise of video has grown exponentially, with predictions that video will account for 82 percent of all internet traffic in 2021. Over just the last year, however, there have already been huge spikes the way video ads have been consumed, with video making up 25 percent of digital ad spend in the U.S. alone.
After all, it is the core of what we do at SpotX. To understand the rise of video ads, we must understand why video resonates more with an audience as opposed to traditional display ads to begin with. It all starts with video experience (VX).
The VX wave was formed with the rise of video as a key component of brand quality and standards. Just as the importance of the video experience has grown over the last decade, so has the significance with video within the customer journey.
Less and less are advertisements aimed at shouting reasons to purchase a certain product from the rooftops. Video represents and embodies the core of a brand and product in order to capture the attention of the consumer. In 2018, we saw a shift in advertising techniques when it comes to video. Let’s check them out:
A deeper connection
In the early ages of video advertising, consumers were presented with a product and were targeted to purchase something based on what they thought they wanted and needed. For example, let’s compare two ads. In one of the first ad, Best Buy is selling personal computers in 1988.
It’s informative, relatively short, and in it’s time was likely considered exciting. But it doesn’t exactly try to resonate with the user at all.
Now let’s look at one from 2018. Facebook presented a commercial featuring their new product, The Portal. In this video advertisement, the product is not talked about at all. In fact, they merely show it being used in a context that viewers can resonate with based on a similar lifestyle they may share with users in the video.
The VX is just as important as having a solidified logo or website; it should be the most important piece of branding you have. Video can reach an audience and reverberate the lifestyle of the ideal customer, created with the customer first and foremost in mind.
If I were to ask you which commercial resonated with you from the examples above, it’s likely you would likely say the ad from Facebook, right? Even though there was plenty of time and technology that separated the life of these two ads, it’s easy to see how the evolution of video has played a huge role on the customer journey.
Facebook isn’t alone in this advertising technique. In fact, hundreds of companies have used this technique to sell their products this past year, including notable brands like HP, The North Face, and more. They’re selling the experience, lifestyle, and brand — a community with a product that a consumer wants to be a part of, without the overexposure of a particular product.
VX is digestible
Video style aside, another trend we saw in 2018 was the rise of six-second ads. In 1941, the first advertisement for TV appeared and lasted only nine seconds. The commercial for Bulova watches featured a clock, a map of the U.S. with the slogan “America runs on Bulova time.” Over time, the average commercial increased to 15-30 seconds, with the occasional 30-60 second advertisement with the option to skip. So how did we get from nine seconds to one minute?
It’s a truism of advertising that if you cannot grab the attention of your viewer in the first few seconds, they’ll likely not pay attention to the entire ad. When it comes to advertising, the need for a minute-long infomercial is unnecessary, and counterproductive.
In a study by comScore, research revealed that millennials have to be around 5 to 6 seconds to be engaged in an advertisements — a drastic contrast from a traditional 30-second traditional TV commercial.
With just six seconds to connect to an audience, brands must get straight to the point, connect with the user, and then provide them with the information and access to learn more. However, even with just six seconds, the video experience is more effective than traditional display ads, created with the user experience in mind and crafted to evoke a response for the user.
In the words of Alexei Edwards, the head of social at Tribal Worldwide London, “The attention economy is a cruel mistress and takes no prisoners,” he shared. “Get their attention in six seconds or not at all.”
The three Rs
The three Rs — and I’m not talking about reduce, reuse, recycle — are relevant, relatable, and reachable. Thanks to these components, the VX is not limited to sending advertisements out for mass distribution. With accurate and safely procured data, audiences can be hand-picked and crafted based on demographics, interests, age, and more.
Utilizing first and third-party data allows advertisers to break through the noise of other advertisements and effectively reach their audience. Without targeting, the user experience ultimately fails and the video experience becomes irrelevant. It’s not that people dislike ads, it’s that people dislike low-quality, poorly timed, and irrelevant ads.
The ability to reach audience across devices is extremely important as well. In 2018, 2.38 billion people will watch streaming or downloaded video content via any device — including mobile, desktop, and connected devices according to eMarketer.
eMarketer expects more than 78.4 percent of digital video viewers to use their mobile phones to watch digitally streamed content. That’s a huge number, right? Not each one of those 2.38 billion viewers will have the same interests, which takes us back to the sheer importance of the VX and reaching not simply reaching a screen, but the right screen.
Just the beginning for video
Video advertising isn’t just a luxury when it comes to gaining exposure and building a brand, video advertising is a key component and should be the first thing considered when it comes to a marketing brand strategy.
It seems as though this is just the beginning for video ads. With the booming growth over the last few years, we can only expect to see an increase for demand when it comes to VX. With the right strategy, content, and data, video ads attribute massively to a successful customer journey. If it’s not a part of your advertising strategy yet, what are you waiting for?
Click here to learn more about the 2019 trends in video advertising.
This article was written by Olivia Tinney, video marketing specialist at SpotX.