The Guardian has an interesting piece about the evolution of online advertising written by Guy Phillipson, CEO of the Internet Advertising Bureau.
His essential thesis is that “online will overtake TV as the biggest (ad) medium by the end of 2010.” That’s a bold claim – that get’s bolder with the hypothesis that brand experience will be where the growth is.
Of course that has to be the case – not only because if the web is going to displace TV it has to be an outlet for brand building ads which dominate TV – but also because brand is an important part of the purchase decision and precedes the transitional decisions that web and search advertising currently dominate.
That doesn’t mean slapping a 30 second TV spot, or cutting it to 15 seconds (to get around the lack of web rights or meet the restrictions for a pre-roll) is the answer. The web is a different medium that offers a broad range of opportunities for ad designers.
Unlike TV, web based brand ads can both drive transactional actions and connect with the audience in a far more direct and personal way. In fact according to Clickz web video not only generates more click but 8% generate some type of interaction – from sharing to expanding re-viewing.
What Clikz suggests is that because of this interaction level web video offer a great opportunity to use video to move beyond simply branding. It is I assume what Phillipson calls a “branding experience” – which is traditional brand message with opportunities for engagement and personalization the web offers.
What this means for creatives is that if they are designing online video they should consider:
• Offer a variety of interactive options as part of viewing or the player
• Frontload the message – because video watching is brief (2.7 minutes on average)
• Think viral and context – as the ad may be embedded and live online for a long time.
As an example of the latter take a look at the much admired Dove Evolution ad – launched in early October 2006. According to ViralVideoCharts this video has been watched 11.8M times, has garnered 5,000+ comments and is posted on 3,276 blog. Almost a year after its release it still gets posted on 6 new blogs a day.
I believe that Phillipson’s right – online advertising is set to dominate other ad mediums because it offers compelling branding, transactional and interactive engagement, niche targeting and shelf long life.
Who could want more as they develop new and targeted creative?