Carte Blanche

The Rise of On­line Video Ad­ver­tis­ing


With Face­book-owned photo-shar­ing plat­form In­sta­gram and pri­vately held im­age mes­sag­ing ap­pli­ca­tion Snapchat ex­per­i­ment­ing with longer video ads, dig­i­tal savvy brands are in­creas­ingly shift­ing their ad­ver­tis­ing bud­get away from TV and straight into on­line video ad­ver­tis­ing.

Snapchat be­gan test­ing “swipe to view” video ads that ex­tend be­yond the typ­i­cal 10-sec­ond time limit back in Novem­ber, start­ing with game pub­lisher Ac­tivi­sion's Call of Duty fran­chise.

It didn’t take long for In­sta­gram to fol­low suit. The ser­vice ran its first ever 60-sec­ond video ad, an ex­ten­sion of T-mo­bile’s Su­per Bowl com­mer­cial star­ring Cana­dian rap­per Drake, on Fe­bru­ary 3. Prior to this date, the max­i­mum length for video ads on In­sta­gram was 30 sec­onds.

In­sta­gram con­tin­ues to push the bound­aries to­day as the com­pany re­cently an­nounced its de­ci­sion to in­crease the video time limit to a full minute for all users, a move that “inches In­sta­gram closer to Youtube ter­ri­tory” ac­cord­ing to global dig­i­tal me­dia web­site Mash­able.

The rise of on­line video ads has been sta­tis­ti­cally doc­u­mented in a num­ber of stud­ies dur­ing the past few years. Back in Jan­uary 2013, more con­sumers re­ported hav­ing a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to­wards ads in orig­i­nal stream­ing con­tent (25%) than in tra­di­tional TV pro­gram­ming (22%) as part of a Star­com study. Two years later, a blis­ter­ing 41 per­cent of re­spon­dents in a study by pro­gram­matic video ad­ver­tis­ing plat­form Brightroll be­lieved on­line video ads to be more ef­fec­tive than TV.

Af­ter sur­vey­ing 120 US ad agen­cies, the same study also re­vealed an 88.6 per­cent in­crease in clients’ in­ter­est in video ads over the past three years, in a strik­ing de­pic­tion of the shift­ing on­line vs. TV pa­ram­e­ters. A 2014 re­port by tech­nol­ogy and mar­ket re­search com­pany For­rester even pre­dicted spend­ing on on­line ad­ver­tis­ing to over­take TV spend­ing by 2016.

This be­ing said, it has be­come ev­i­dent that on­line video ad­ver­tis­ing boasts many ad­van­tages over tra­di­tional TV com­mer­cials, no­tably in terms of tar­get­ing. TV clearly no longer rules ad­ver­tis­ing as it did 30 years ago. But while many peo­ple be­lieve it to have been com­pletely de­throned by on­line, TV ad­ver­tis­ing has man­aged to sur­vive against all odds, pri­mar­ily driv­ing on its age-old po­ten­tial to reach the masses.

On­line wins on all fronts, yet TV is by no means dead ei­ther, bear­ing in mind that what works for the small screen in terms of ad­ver­tise­ment may not work for dig­i­tal and vice versa, which some­what neu­tral­izes the com­pe­ti­tion be­tween the two in some cases.

But with In­sta­gram lead­ing the way as one of the world's largest mo­bile ads plat­forms and Snapchat re­port­edly at­tract­ing enough big ad­ver­tis­ers to com­pete with Face­book, Twit­ter and Youtube, it’s about time these two plat­forms be­gin to sig­nif­i­cantly re­shape the fu­ture of on­line video ad­ver­tis­ing.

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