Simple...in almost every case, the viewer clicks "Skip ad."
As you may have guessed, I am referring to online video ads whose popularity as marketing tool has already reduced their effectiveness. The more we see, the easier it is to ignore them or skip them altogether. Nothing really surprising here; after all, for the past 20 years, we have seen all online marketing tools follow the same trend. Our experience also tells us every viable online marketing tool features its own little hidden, and sometimes not-so-hidden, tricks to reverse the inevitable decreasing ROI trend. For online video ads, we need to look at the way they evolved into a tool.
In the early days of online video advertising, viewers were presented with a screenshot of the ad and given the option to play it. Bandwidths were slower and mobile devices were not powerful enough to process video files. Fast forward 15 years; now online video ads are everywhere, not just on YouTube, not just on computers.
Advances in technology also introduced changes in the way they are set up: AUTOPLAY with an option to be skipped within a few seconds, usually 5.
We have all seen so many of them that we can ignore the playing commercials. For most, the only time we interact with the ad is to skip it. There lies the wasted opportunity. To close the ad, when the countdown runs down to the Skip Ad message viewers are passively looking at the commercial; full attention is given at second 5 when they interact with the Skip Ad button. As the viewer is about to act, you have a very captive audience.
Take advantage of this split second full-attention span to grab the viewers' attention and, yes, to encourage them to continue viewing the ad. If you play your regular 15-sec or 30-sec commercial, it is likely that it was not edited to peak the interest of the viewer at second 5. Something needs to happen at that specific time to break the rhythm of the ad. There really are no creativity constraints as long as it happens right before second 5, right before they click to Skip the ad.
Clever editing of online video ads is not too different from editing TV shows for Network TV where show segments between ad breaks last typically 8 minutes. Show writers know that something must happen during each 8-minute segment to ensure the audience will be there when the commercial break ends.
advancis has always encouraged clients to consider re-editing commercials run online; even more so today, as most commercials are viewed on phones. With the growing popularity of video ads, the second-5 trick must become part of your creative strategy to make your commercials web- and mobile-friendly. Choosing the right video format and compression setting is only a facet of
successful online advertising. Clever editing is as important.
Note: Of course, advertising sites can feature different specification requirements for videos. Some will feature the 5-second mark others may place the mark at 10 or 15 seconds. Obviously, your attention-grabbing segment must be positioned accordingly.