As digital advertising continues to eat away at broadcast and particularly print budgets, the traditional banner ad is now so familiar to consumers that it has begun to register lower on their sensitivity radar, and talk of “banner blindness” clearly signals the need for innovation.
In an independent survey of 2 000 consumers conducted earlier this year by Goo Technologies in the US to determine online consumer opinion and behaviour towards online advertising, 82% of respondents said they tend to ignore static online banner advertising.
However, the same study also found that more than half of respondents (58%) – and 69% of Millennials (ages 18-34) – said they engaged with online advertisements if they were humorous, entertaining or contained exceptional graphics.
This leaves the field wide open for creative digital advertisers to make the most of this highly versatile playground by producing original and engaging content. And with the traditional banner ad seemingly in need of a boost, video is emerging as the likely hero.
While a number of candidates are vying for the digital ad crown, video, in particular, answers the consumers’ desire for real interaction and engagement by communicating more information, on a deeper level, and in a shorter space of time. More importantly, this is content that can be shared, thereby creating opportunities for viral communication.
The emergence of video as digital advertising’s frontrunner is borne out by recent Nielsen claims that 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategy in the near future.
“If a picture paints a thousand words then video paints a million and digital advertisers are wising up to how effective this form of online advertising can be. In fact, many ads that would previously have been produced for TV are now being produced exclusively for use on digital channels and inclusion on websites and digital publications,” says Desere Orrill, CMO of Ole! Media Group.
Video advertising also offers an unparalleled economy of scale, affording advertisers the ability to get their point across in only a few seconds and at relatively low cost, given the advances in technology. As a result, there is an increasing move by brands to create ads solely for YouTube, which is now the second largest search engine.
Taking advantage of this trend, the Ole! Media Group (OMG) recently rounded out its digital media offering by acquiring video production house LoveDigital. The agency focuses on creating visually appealing and engaging stories (advertising, or instructional, or other), which can be easily streamed across all digital platforms. The acquisition gives OMG an even stronger foothold in the digital media and marketing sector, allowing it to serve not only publishers and agencies, but also those brands and corporations looking to provide regular digitised content to their audiences.
According to Devon Brough, executive producer at LoveDigital, “Video can be presented in myriad ways and gives the consumer the power to control when and how they want to engage with it. In videos, a character is often used to convey information. The consumer can form a direct connection with this character and will be more open to accepting the message.”
The success stories of videos that have gone viral are legend. A recent campaign from Volkswagen, for example, saw a trio of its videos viewed a combined 155 million times. If such numbers seem out of reach for most marketers, they at least demonstrate video’s inherent share-ability.
“Engage viewers and they will share the video with others,” says Brough. “They will spend longer time on the application and more time interacting with the brand. For any social media campaign or any search engine optimisation exercise, video is without doubt one of the best tools in the kit.”
Orrill, who is also MD of LoveDigital, agrees. “While video may have killed the radio star in the ’80s, in the 21st century, it is one of the most powerful mediums for getting the point across. We forecast huge growth in this area, particularly as the media landscape evolves and corporations transform their own communication departments into media hubs with a need for frequent exciting and ‘likeable’ content.”
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