The term “video advertising” encompasses a wide range of ad products. Not only does it include pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll ads—video ads showing before, during and after another online video (think about the ads shown before YouTube videos or commercial interstitials during your favorite Netflix serial); video ads also run in display ads and a newer form of content, native advertising—a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform that it appears on.
Though online video ads have existed for several years, it seems people didn’t pay much attention to them until late 2013, when reports showed over 35 billion views in December, averaging more than 100% year-over-year growth. Video ad revenue is predicted to increase 19.5% by 2016 making it one of the fastest growing advertising formats, second only to mobile. While video ads have the highest click-through rate of all digital ads, the average cost of online video is more expensive than several other forms of online advertising. Nevertheless, the price is expected to decrease as more publishers turn to video, as more placements open up and as more brands start to see success in online video advertising.
Kate Spade has enjoyed recent online video success with their use of pre-roll advertising. Last month, the women’s fashion brand launched “The Waiting Game,” a two-minute video starring actress Anna Kendrick, who gets locked out of her apartment after a day of shopping. Four segments were used as five-second pre-roll ads on the popular video platform, YouTube. The ads were geared toward mobile users with shorter attention spans than desktop viewers. Three of the pre-roll ads were snippets of the two-minute video and the fourth video was of Kendrick directing viewers to KateSpade.com to check out the full campaign.
The CMO of Kate Spade, Mary Beech, said the fourth ad performed the best, and she believes it is because it breaks that fourth wall and addresses the YouTube audience directly. It also has the feel of a user-generated video, which tends to resonates with people even more as seen with the success of Instagram video and Vine. The recent Kate Spade videos are directed with more of a native advertising feel versus a blatant advertisement.
In addition to the pre-roll ads, Kate Spade worked with Cinematique and Google to build a “shoppable” video that lets users click on any product within the holiday ad, which continues to be interactive even when the video is over. The ads ran across Google’s Display Network, targeting sites popular with women such as US Weekly, Food Network and Rolling Stone. Between the pre-roll ads and the “shoppable” video, the fashion brand has reached 20 million YouTube viewers since November 7—or nearly a half-million views per day.
Kate Spade wasn’t the only brand to see recent success in video advertising. Heineken ran a video campaign on Facebook that reached 35 million users in only three days. This could signal the beginning of a video platform battle. YouTube has held the top spot for many years, whereas Facebook is relatively new to the video world. However, in a short amount of time—as shown by Heineken’s campaign—Facebook is out-performing YouTube when it comes to ad reach. “What we’re finding is that we have to consider Facebook as the key video partner going forward because not only does it have reach but the effectiveness,” Heineken’s Senior Media Direct of Marketing, Ron Amram, told AdWeek.
There will be a lot of changes in the realm of online video and video advertising over the next few years. With more budget money being devoted to it, more time creating it, and more platforms using it, sites will have to battle it out to claim their stake of online video advertising.
Do you think the Heineken ad performed better on Facebook because of the platform’s natural “share-ability?” Or do you think it’s solely because of the large amount of users on Facebook? Do you think YouTube will make any changes to their platform to stay competitive? We’d love to hear your thoughts!