Video Advertising Goes Back to Basics

by Nick McLachlan

posted on 08-25-2019

In 1941, Bulova Watches ran a simple black-and-white picture of the United States flag with a clock face before a national baseball game broadcast. The ad, which ran for 10 seconds, was accompanied by a voiceover that stated, “America runs on Bulova time.”

While simplistic in nature, the first-ever television advertisement represented a major innovation for Bulova. For just $9, they were able to send an effective, uncluttered brand message to their core audience (only the wealthy owned TVs in 1941).

Fast-forward 78 years, and premium quality, ad-supported digital video is one of the fastest-growing media channels in the Asia-Pacific region. As audiences watch more long-form content than ever before, brands have identified video as a key pillar in their mass reach and customer acquisition strategies.

Along the way, brands have faced ongoing challenges in migrating the principles that Bulova Watches pioneered in 1941 over to new media. This includes much trial and error in the shift to digital platforms, with needless complexity often diminishing the overall effectiveness of branding campaigns. Some of these challenges are summarized below.

Fragmentation of content quality** **

The introduction of smartphones and the rise of user-generated content platforms such as YouTube and Facebook have eroded barriers to content creation, leaving us with videos of all types of quality, length, and orientation. This has led to a decline in the overall effectiveness of video advertising.

A recent study by ThinkTV found that advertising run alongside long-form TV style content lasts on average nine times longer in audience memory than content that runs on platforms such as Facebook or YouTube, leading many to stop regarding all video inventory as equal. With Adobe Advertising Cloud, we see many brands utilizing our Premium On Demand library to deliver solely on scalable, premium content.

Delivering quality user experiences

In the early days of digital video, supply scarcity led to many buyers seeking inventory at key periods regardless of the cost. This often meant locking in video buys up front, with little consideration for data or controls over how and when users saw the ad.

Nowadays, 63% of consumers say they are turned off by the same generic messages. Furthermore, with quality digital video supply far outpacing demand in the market, buyers should look at tools that allow them to buy on their terms using non-guaranteed buys instead of the traditional guaranteed buys that publishers control.

Through the Adobe Advertising Cloud platform, advertisers can use the reach and frequency tool to understand their optimal ad frequency and optimize their advertising budgets across publishers to improve the customer experience.

Finding your core audience

The one-to-many nature of linear TV has led to the widely accepted issue of wastage when running a branding campaign. The shift to digital, on the other hand, has enabled advertising buyers to better segment and target their core audience to serve them more relevant messages.

With platforms such as Hotstar in India setting world records for concurrent digital viewers at the same time (25.3 million in July 2019), it is more crucial than ever to utilize non-guaranteed buying and first-party data for segmentation, suppression, and personalization of digital video. More importantly, it is easier than ever to leverage these audiences into digital video channels using Advertising Cloud’s native integration with Adobe Audience Manager.

Measuring return on investment

The shift to digital has led to a measure-everything culture that often leaves top-of-the-funnel branding channels such as digital video at a disadvantage when competing for budget allocations.

In 2019, digital video measurement is often rated as a key issue for many brands and agencies. For those operating in silos, this often leaves many relying on poor proxies such as completion rate or viewability to measure success, which are not real indicators of a branding campaign’s impact.

At Adobe, we talk about serving with a purpose to understand a campaign’s intended target before devising strategies. These can include things such as total reach measurement, brand awareness uplift, and connecting video views to site visits.

Many premium brands have successfully delivered campaigns with Adobe Advertising Cloud by adopting a simpler and more focused approach to the fragmented online video space, returning to the principles that Bulova Watches pioneered in 1941.

OCBC Bank in South East Asia achieved more than $100K in cost savings by adopting a premium inventory approach through Adobe’s On Demand gallery.

In Australia, Allianz was able to locate the channels that drove their greatest ROI through a video and search strategy with an omnichannel platform. This strategy revealed the value of users coming to their site and lowered the company’s CPA by 30%.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., Dell leveraged their first-party CRM data and DMP audiences to reach key audiences in connected TV, while matching this household exposure data to look at individual publisher frequency and understand where they should be spending their branding dollars.

See how you can optimize your video strategies using Adobe Advertising Cloud by signing up for our upcoming skill-builder webinar!