Pressing Play on Online Video

Video on the rise

Video advertising is the fastest growing ad format in the digital marketing industry, with ad spend growing 46% YoY – overtaking standard banner ads for the first time ever. According to eMarketer, British people spent close to 1 hour on average watching online video content every day in 2017, nearly double the amount of time we spent watching it last year!

We’ve all been witness to the shifts in how TV and video consumption has changed as technology has become more advanced. 2014 was the year Blockbuster ceased operations, signalling the end of VHS videos, and propelling digital video on a consistent upward trajectory. In recent years, the influence of Netflix, BBC IPlayer and SkyGo has changed how we access and watch traditional TV programming, giving us more content to access whenever and wherever we want. The growing popularity and abundance of more snackable and shareable video content on Facebook and YouTube, coupled with a growing popularity in livestreaming on sites like Twitch has also drastically increased how much we are now watching video too.

This meteoric rise in video usage, inventory and ad spend has led to seismic changes in the offerings of industry giants like Google and Facebook, who are continuously adapting their products to encourage more video content to be made and shared by users and businesses. They’ve made their advertising platforms easier to use, introducing rafts of targeting options and integrations, and relatively cheap inventory at massive scale. Finally, apps like YouTube’s Director app and Facebooks “Creator” app helps even the smallest businesses create great adverts from their mobile phones, eliminating the need for expensive recording equipment and creative direction, and fuelling industry growth in video ad spend.

The future of video

At Home, we’ve seen a huge rise in the last few years in the adoption of video advertising by our clients in all different industries and sectors. We’ve been fortunate to take part in YouTube’s exclusive 6-month video masters programme, and partnered with Google to host our own video event at Leeds Business Week. As an integrated agency, we’re not only well versed in running highly effective media campaigns, but we are recognised experts in creating great video content, and strategically planning.

Video will continue to grow, not only in the amount we watch, but in its importance to all businesses digital marketing strategy. Zenith predicts that by 2019, online video will account for 31% of total expenditure of digital display advertising, up from 28% in 2017, and 21% in 2012. Video is already the most engaging platform we consume. CreativePool found that video was seen as 3.5x less likely to be considered as “interruptive” than other formats on mobile, and the most engaging of all social formats.

The offerings of video suppliers will continue to adapt and improve with time so that our ads are more targeted and relevant. People will continue to passively engage with traditional TV and the uptake in on-demand services will rise.

Creative importance

In a lot of respects, video today is having the same digital growth spurt that banner advertising had several years ago. From experience, the only way to make banner ads work now is by being disruptive. Performance across video, like with banner ads, is heavily reliant on the creative execution and matching targeting to the ‘moments that matter’. Unlike banner ads though, with video you aren’t shackled to a few frames, and therefore have a lot of creative scope. If advertisers want to succeed in video – they will need to become more creative to make the most out of it.

Your TV advert should never be the go to creative asset to then promote on YouTube if you are looking for engagement. The average attention span of a human is now shorter than that of a goldfish, so seeing the same video message online that you’ve already seen on TV isn’t going to keep your attention. As a minimum, TV creatives need multiple edits that specifically cater for different channels. Ideally, when advertising online video, tailored and inventive use of creative will need to become the norm if advertisers want to keep seeing positive results.

Brands that have done it well

For some inspiration, here are 3 great ways brands have used YouTube specific creative to compliment the 6-second bumper ad format in a captivating way:

Old spice:

Mercedes Benz:


These types of ad can be seen as a huge investment and potentially risky, especially after creating an expensive TV ad. However, suppliers are making it easier for advertisers to cope. Facebook is already helping aid brands to tailor their TV ads for mobile, and now YouTube have unveiled new tools to create custom ads at scale, using Director Mix. The decision by YouTube to also axe 30-second un-skippable ads shows that refitting a TV ad with the intent of trapping your audience into watching the same message they’ve already likely seen on TV isn’t enough anymore.

Key considerations for using online video

As an agency, we’re already starting to see a shift in the way clients think about video, and working to help them get the most out of it. Although it’s primary usage is still seen currently as a tool for reach and engagement, with the right creative execution it can work as a DR channel competitive with that of traditional banner advertising. If you are planning to advertise online using video, here are some key things to consider before setup of your campaigns:

• Video placement – What video environment is suitable for your audience and KPIs? Would you benefit more from targeting big screen formats akin to a traditional TV audience or would it be more beneficial engaging on social channels?

• Scheduling – Is your video activity an extension of TV or independent? Syncing online video so that it coincides with your TV scheduling can be a powerful method of bolstering reach and increasing brand saliency across different platforms.

• Targeting – Most briefs are no longer reach-based with video, so targeting options are becoming a lot more important when deciding on video suppliers. Explore different targeting offerings and see what aligns best with your target audience.

• Brand safety – Ensure that you are clear about where you want and don’t want your video ads to appear. All suppliers will have some form of ad safety protocol in place to make sure that ads don’t appear next to lewd or inappropriate content.

• Measuring performance & attribution – Video as a channel sits nearer the top of the conversion funnel so shouldn’t be held to the same performance standards as DR channels like PPC. Ensure that you have clarity on not just performance from a direct but assisted perspective also.


Global online video consumption and advertising to increase by a fifth in 2017, The Drum.

Pre-Roll the Most Informative & Engaging Video Ad Format, Creative Pool.

Facebook Wants to Help Brands Tailor Their TV Ads for Mobile, Adweek.

Digital Video Is UK’s Rising Star, eMarketer.

Written by:

Barry Bell


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