Despite the unpopularity of pre-roll ads, marketers are not slowing down on the format. However, many are looking at six-second ads as a possible solution to the problem.
This morning, GumGum, an artificial intelligence company with expertise in computer vision, released findings from two separate surveys around the evolution and effectiveness of various digital video ad formats, namely pre-roll and six-second. The results demonstrate a major disconnect between the ads consumers are willing to watch and those that advertisers are willing to create and believe are effective.
The initial survey of 305 brand marketers and agencies found that pre-roll remains the dominant video format for marketers (86 percent of respondents — more than double the number of any other format used), while 305 U.S. consumers for a separate survey rate it as the most interruptive and irritating format.
Though marketers plan on experimenting with other formats over the next two years, 84 percent of them still plan on using pre-roll. GumGum notes that video ads which are delivered regardless of the user interest and behavior may provide a sub-optimal user experience, and in some cases lead to video ads being placed next to unsafe content. Brand safety was cited as the main reasons marketers believe viewers skip pre-roll.
To make the pre-roll experience more enjoyable — or less irritating — many of those surveyed expressed interest in investing more into the six-second ad format. The survey found that the six-second in-image ad improved consumer purchase intent by 14 points.
“Using six-second ads around the right targeting, you can start telling a broader story,” said Steve Carbone, managing director and chief digital and investment officer of MediaCom. “Now I’m able to sequence a story using ‘tease, amplify and echo’ strategies. In the course of user experience, you’re seeing a six-second ad. But you’re getting a broad story in your mind. It wasn’t intrusive. It wasn’t making you feel uncomfortable. And it’s only six seconds of your time.”
The biggest challenge to greater adoption of short video ads, according to marketers surveyed, are creative constraints. Many find it challenging to successfully express a message in such a short amount of time.
“As online video format evolve from 15-second pre-rolls to six-second bumpers, we are focused on developing the right type of content for each to ensure the best experience for our consumers while also driving awareness,” said Vivian Arestia, AVP US Acquisition Marketing at MetLife.