The development of new platforms and technologies presents brands with many opportunities, but also challenges.
Successful marketing is about delivering the right content to the right person in the right context. Millward Brown research in East Africa suggests digital video is a cost efficient way to extend reach and effectiveness beyond traditional TV. Mobile video is the main growth driver necessitating a transformation of the video advertising formats being used.
Our AdReaction study found that in Kenya (multiscreen users 16-45), videos are viewed on average for more than three hours daily. 110 minutes is on TV, 78 minutes is conducted on mobile, and 48 minutes is viewed on desktop devices. Screen time will only increase as costs drop, speeds improve and smartphone penetration increases, making video a growing opportunity for marketers to reach consumers in exciting new ways. But, measured performance of mobile advertising to date suggests big executional mistakes.
The key challenge is to address consumers in a way that’s brand relevant and well received. Marketers still usually repurpose TV spots. Within the mobile space these need to generate intrigue, skip resistance and create branded impact in the first few seconds.
This presents structural creative challenges. Receptivity to digital video ads is much lower (32% favourable) than for live TV ads (47%). Consumers feel that they have more control over digital ads and are irritated by formats which fail to respect this control.
Skippable pre-rolls (53% favourability) and skippable mobile pop-ups (48%) are viewed much more favourably than mobile app pop-ups (21%) and non-skippable pre-rolls (23%). The most popular ad format is mobile app reward videos (62%). Interest targeting is most accepted (57% receptive) followed by preferred brands (56% receptive).
TV is till the dominant channel and offers the easiest opportunity to reach audiences. We however need to be cognisant of the opportunity provided by digital, especially smartphone and PC.
While web browsing behaviour may drive interest-based targeting, sensitive execution is likely to work best. People are receptive to targeting, but don’t want to be stalked. Also, consumers are more receptive to viewing video ads while at home (43%) vs. at work (31%).
Applying TV thinking to digital content and placement is archaic. Unless format and media buying decisions are made early on and built into the creative briefing process, brands will continue to develop video creative that misses the opportunity.
Soumya Saklani is managing director of Millward Brown Sub-Saharan Africa.
This story was first published in The Media’s Africa Annual. The Media Online will be carrying reports on media in various African countries over the next few weeks. Read the Africa Annual digizine here. #AfricaAnnual