Interactive online video leads to greater results

Interaction is what sets the internet apart from TV, radio and print and yet roughly 85% of all online video advertising offers little or no meaningful interactivity. There is a vast online audience, actively poised with a mouse or index finger at the ready and yet advertisers insist on rolling out the same old repurposed TV ads to a rapidly dwindling passive audience.

And when interactivity is offered? It is usually limited in scope, or frustratingly intrusive in behaviour. Rich Media expansions and overlays usually result in little more than a standard noughties microsite, with resulting engagement rates being poor on anything but the most optimal placements. Simplistic triggering methods are prone to accidental, or fraudulent activation, inflating performance, and invalidating insight.

“Let’s face it, the PreRoll overlay button is simply a repurposed click through; just another form of Display Advertising. It requires an audience to already be interested in the Ad, as the interaction itself is too recessive.{{Every Ad start should be seen as an opportunity to incentivise engagement.}}” comments Patrick Toner, head of production at Oliv, an OLV Agency. With over 500 successful online interactive video ads produced in over 40 countries and an International Emmy Award for best Online Interactive Video, Oliv are industry experts busy forging new paths for online video advertisers, agencies, networks and publishers.

So, if the only consumers likely to interact with a pre-roll overlay are those who are already interested to begin with, how do you hook new consumers? How do you turn a real “opportunity to see” into a measurable engagement. The internet is vast and ever-changing and yet much of the current interactive advertising offering feels re-hashed and under-utilised. Online video advertising simply must evolve – but how?

Touch focused video advertising creates a meaningful, measurable, and verifiable engagement between advertiser and audience; viewers interact directly and physically with the product, brand, concept or content. This naturally leads to a more meaningful bond between consumer and content, brand or message. Touch could happen on every PreRoll delivery.

In addition, meaningful ‘touch’ is a more accurate measure of audience engagement with your online campaign. Click-through, dwell time, and rollover rates are notoriously unreliable key performance metrics. Rollovers can be a wandering mouse, a scripted bot, or a toddler grabbing Mom’s iPad. Clicks could be misplaced mutes, skips or attempts to close the Ad. Genuine ‘touch’ campaigns measure and quantify a deeper connection between consumer and brand. It is a cutting-edge utilisation of the active nature of internet users.

If reformatted TV ads and rich media overlays are yesterday’s news, and engaging interactive video advertising is what today’s consumer is all about, what lies ahead?

Patrick Toner predicts “2014 should be a banner year for Online Interactive Video. We see genuine video interactivity becoming increasingly widespread over the coming year. Story structure will evolve to allow audiences to have a say in how ‘their’ content unfolds. Viewers will be able to choose vantage points and perspectives that make their experience both shared and unique. Interactive product placement will finally begin to work as we rethink visual pacing and edit accordingly.”

Pre-Roll is native advertising in its purest form and the use of ‘Touch’ focused content within this evolving OLV landscape has the potential for enormous rewards, both creative and fiscal, for advertisers, agencies and publishers.

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