We all know that people enjoy settling in front of the TV to relax and while away a couple of hours. Are these individuals really actively engaging with the brand messages filling their screens during the advert breaks? Are they distracted by conversation, making a cup of tea or fast-forwarding the ad altogether on their digital service?
What happens when you compare broadcast television to coming across a video on YouTube or an online TV channel? You’re probably intently interested in the content that is about to appear after the pre-roll advert, otherwise you wouldn't have searched for that specific piece of content, right? Also, you’re only likely to have one or two adverts in your pre-roll rather than a long sequence interrupting your programming at 10-minute intervals.
Brands are overexposed
To a certain extent brand advertising on TV is suffering from a chronic state of overexposure due to the sheer number of ads screened on an hourly basis. comScore reported that 25% of a television viewer’s time is spent infront of advertising, with 75% of time spent watching programmed content. By contrast, web-based video advertising is enjoying a less cluttered space as viewers are treated to much more content online than they are advertising. For example, when watching premium televised content online, 91.9% of a viewer's time is spent watching their selected programming. To this end, they have been found to be more receptive and accepting of the ads that they are exposed to, which take up only a total 8.1% of their viewing time online. In comparison, the online video figure seems rather more tolerable.
This consolidation and focus on quality, not quantity, has been picked up by major brands who are now reporting great uplift in their brand message when using social and interactive video as a part of their overall campaigns. Interactivity, and being able to “get involved” with what you’re watching on screen, contributed to the memorability of the brand. According to TubeMogul, overall pre-roll helped exposed viewers remember a brand message and on top of this, using an interactive pre-roll was able to engage the viewer even more, and lift the brand message association by 12.8%.
Further research has found that for brands, online video platforms are offering a cost-effective alternative to showing motion picture advertising, as the cost accrued per minute of advertising viewed is markedly lower when online video is purchased in real time ($0.04 US), in comparison with the cost per minute viewed for network primetime TV ($0.06).
Digital advertising gets political
This has recently played out on the world stage, with two of the biggest brands in the world – the Republican and Democrat parties. The two set aside $78.2 million for digital advertising according to the U.S. Federal Elections Commission as they bid to add another string to the campaigners’ bows in this year’s presidential race. Real-time buying by agencies on TubeMogul’s video advertising platform accounted for 8.3% of that total and others like Hulu and YouTube saw significant shares of spending also.
Television networks have no need to be concerned for their viewing figures at this stage – especially as many of the major networks globally now have multi-screen offerings in a bid to straddle both worlds. However keeping the user’s attention is something that TV networks will increasingly need to creatively focus on if they are to justify their advertising costs. One thing that the younger generation of 18-24 year old viewers are doing is consistently hopping between screens while watching TV. Harris Interactive polls found that 68% of respondents surfed the web while watching the TV and among the same demographic of 18-24 year olds, 57% spent their time texting and using social networking while watching TV.