Through our membership in the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies), an article from their weekly “SmartBrief” newsletter inspires this blog post. We find the research, results and conclusions helpful as we counsel clients in this medium.
How was the research conducted? The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video with 11 offices around the globe, in partnership with leading emotion measurement platform, RealEyes, exposed almost 3000 adults 18 – 49 to a set of 9 different scenarios of content and ads to measure emotional reactions through facial recognition technology. By gaining a better understanding of a viewer’s expectations of the ad experience, publishers and advertisers can effectively work together on driving better and more engaging advertising.
Additionally, when FreeWheel surveyed 243 brand and ad agency executives in late 2016, the advertising experience was rated as the most significant challenge facing the video industry today. As anyone who is part of the advertising value chain will tell you, there are many variables and responsible parties involved in ensuring the right ad shows up in the right place at the right time, and in the right way.
Fragmentation of viewing options for consumers has compounded the challenge, but it’s not just the screen that impacts the type of ad experience. The content type, whether long-form full episodes or short-form clips, create different viewer expectations of appropriate lengths and frequency of ads supporting that premium content.
Surveying consumers after viewing the clips and advertising, the Council sought to understand expectations of the ad experience so that both publishers and advertisers can work together on driving better and more engaging advertising.
Here Are The Key Research Takeaways:
- Not surprisingly, engagement levels on advertising increase as ad loads decrease.
- There is a halo effect on engagement levels for both content and ads when combined.
- Expectations of the number of ads while viewing clips are relatively high (3 ads for 4 clips).
- Expectations of ad loads across screens are relatively consistent: a majority of viewers would expect the same on over-the-top (OTT) as desktop but 3 in 10 expect less ads on a mobile device. By the way, OTT is a term used in broadcasting to refer to video transmitted via the Internet as a standalone product without cable or broadcast operators.
- The impact of choice is important: half of users would choose a longer ad at the start of their viewing to watch ad-free afterwards.
The unique study also took a closer look at the engagement, expectations and impact of different short-form video ad experiences, and shed light on how, as an industry, we can continue to create better experiences and business outcomes.
Short-form content is an important part of the premium video ecosystem and fuels significant advertising opportunities for marketers. Finding the right balance, and ultimately the right choreography of clips and ads to maximize engagement and business outcomes, is key to help foster those opportunities. Premium video providers are proactively testing to find this balance, as they look to improve the ad experience no matter the content, audience or screen.