The proliferation of online video ads makes me wonder how consumers (and, of course, marketers) ever lived without them. According to the results of “ComScore Media Metrix’s Online Video Ratings”:http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=630, more than 94 million people in the US alone watched a streaming video online in June. That represents over half of the total US online population.
Apparently, the average consumer watches an astounding 73 minutes of streaming video content per month. “This research confirms that streaming video is now part of the Web experience for a broad base of consumers,” said comScore Media Metrix president Peter Daboll. “This technology is changing advertising on the Web, by allowing richer, more emotive connections between brands and consumers.”
That it is. Whereas once interactive marketers viewed online video primarily as a vehicle for transferring their TV spots to the Web, they’re now making the most of the medium by developing unique, entertaining, and memorable content that’s more likely to help forge a relationship between them and their target consumers. As always, the objective is to keep video ads short (most experts agree that :15 or less is ideal), as well as highly relevant. Artful execution and a clever plot don’t justify an untargeted media buy.
We’re at a point with video now where it could go either way; either marketers will respect the medium (and thus consumers) by using it sparingly and only when appropriate, or we’ll have a backlash similar to that infamous pop-up ad fiasco on our hands. Consumers remain interested in and easily engaged by video, but there’s no guarantee this will last. The best approach? Follow the rules and use video while you can, but don’t root future marketing campaigns in it just yet. Internet users are fickle, and you just never know when they’ll turn their attention back to TV.