Is Video Under-Used in Direct Response Advertising?

When any new digital advertising frontier emerges, the first hurdle is to educate the market in order to demonstrate its value to advertisers, agencies and publishers. In the early days of video, the first step was to get the big brand TV money flowing online, so most of the video buying platforms focused very much on a premium, brand-focused positioning. However, now that video advertising is starting to grow up, perhaps it’s time the video world started to eye up the direct response (DR) budgets too. VAN asked four leading industry figures if they believed video is under-used by direct response advertisers.

Matt Dailey, Head of Performance Planning, Performics (Publicis)

Matt Davies, PerformicsVideo probably is under-used in the direct response world. In theory, online video should pick up where DRTV left off. You have all the audiovisual advantages of TV, combined with the mass distribution at low cost, that made DRTV such a compelling offering to direct marketers for so long. In addition, Online video offers a diverse range of targeting opportunities, that DRTV never had but at a cost that is not prohibitive to efficiency.

However, the world of the consumer has become infinitely more complex, with an exponential increase in touchpoints and paths to response and purchase and this means that online video suffers from a lack of direct measurability when compared to some of its digital brethren. What online video does offer is the opportunity to grab attention, inform and educate consumers and then allows advertisers to locate those that have seen the video and deliver them further messaging and direction to drive the preferred action.

So if the use of attribution modelling can be increased, demonstrating the importance of online video in the overall channel mix, then it will justify its place in direct advertising but in a world of predominantly linear measurement it will continue to struggle.

Ben Humphry, Head of Demand, Coull

Ben HumphreyUntil we get away from this assumption that video advertising means pre-roll the channel will continue to be under-used for direct-response. Linear formats like pre-roll are and always will be a branding proposition, as the high cost per conversion makes a DR campaign unworkable.

That doesn’t mean video advertising can’t cater to direct response, planners just need to look at other formats. In-video overlay, for instance, brings IAB-standard display creative into the stream of video content. Combine the lower CPM with the high engagement rates the format drives and suddenly you’re looking at a very compelling platform for DR advertisers

Jonathan Lewis, Commercial Director, Brainient
jonathan_lewisI think it’s safe to say it is under used when compared to the amount of DR budget that goes into display for instance. The reasons are pretty obvious too, the cost of producing and delivering video still remain high.

That being said there are signs that ‘brand’ advertisers are starting to understand that interactive video offers them a route to drive to DR KPI’s. Retailers in particular have become quite adept at taking a brand (TV) asset and making it interactive by adding specific product level information over the video, allowing users to click straight to basket level and thus eliminating many of the hurdles in the path to purchase.  We are also seeing greater use of API feeds. Here an advertiser can pull in relevant real time product information (think ticket prices and availability) over the top of the video, which again give users more reasons to click and ultimately transact.

Rich Astley, Managing Director, UK, Videology

Rich AstleySight, sound and motion drives superior engagement. It should be no surprise that video will have a role to play in the performance space. There is already precedent in traditional linear TV, so it makes sense that advertisers who invest in DRTV as a response tool to use digital video formats. Albeit supercharged with a closed loop attribution supported by data led targeting, measurement and optimisation.

Inevitably with performance-based objectives, price will play a key role. This means brand safety, viewability and bot traffic prevention tools will be key as biddable, longer-tail inventory becomes more appealing. Regardless of the campaign objective, it is critical that you employ a technology solution that puts you in the driving seat. Allowing you to plan, forecast, execute and measure to the ROI and media objectives of each advertiser.


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