One of the most interesting companies to watch in video advertising are Brainient, the London-based creators of innovative and interactive video ad formats. In the past there have been times when they seemed just a little bit too far ahead of the rest of the market — they were the first to offer hand-gestured video ads that makes use of the Xbox’s Kinect functionality, for example — but 2013 is starting to look like it could be Brainient’s big year.
There are a few things working in Brainient’s favour. Firstly, they got their hands dirty early on and have had time to learn what does and doesn’t work when it comes to interactive advertising. Secondly, interactive video has suddenly become mainstream — earlier this year the IAB has introduced its new ‘Rising Stars‘ video ad formats, which have been well-received by the industry and appear set to enjoy more success than their display counterparts. Thirdly, there has been a gradual shift in how video advertising is perceived — ‘brand response’ is a term that is suddenly gaining traction in way that it hasn’t in the past and the new formats demonstrate that it really is possible to tastefully incorporate some DR elements that can allow you to bag some additional sales on the spot.
Last month, Brainient received won some industry recognition when they picked up three awards — Campaign of the Year, Best Use of Emerging Technology, and Best Entertainment Platform — at The Festival of Media Awards for their work for ASOS on the #bestnightever campaign, which drove an additional £5 million in sales for the fashion retailer (Carat, iProspect and Rehab also worked on the campaign).
The campaign – which featured Ellie Goulding, Azealia Banks and Charlotte Free – was a blend of the latest tech and creativity, blending branded content, interactivity and direct response. Viewers had the option to buy the clothes on offer by clicking on a carousel at the bottom which manages to make itself noticeable without interfering too much with the ad’s core content, or by clicking on the artists in the video (see below. Having trouble – see ASOS’s Shoppable YouTube channel here).
In an interview with VAN, Emi Gal, CEO of Brainient, said the ads were distributed across ten different media channels, ranging from mobile ad networks, seeding companies, ASOS’s own site and YouTube channel. Brainient’s platform was used to measure the engagement rate in real-time, so under-performing media could be dropped from the plan before soaking up too much budget.
Gal explains, “The campaign was brand-focused and the main purpose of the plan was to generate engagement, but what was really surprising was that they generated a lot of sales as well. [Brainient are unable to disclose numbers on conversion rate]. The engagement rate ranged from 10 to 50 percent on this campaign, and the engagement rate on tablets was highest, and about half of the people who watched the videos interacted with the units.” Gal says the average engagement rate at Brainient for fashion is typically an exceptionally high 15 percent.
“I think we’re going to see more brand response campaigns in the future, especially in video. People are so engaged when watching a video that if you combine the right interactive format with the right piece of content, it almost blurs the line between it being an ad and it being an interesting piece of content that engages the viewer so much that they’re willing to engage and open the door to making a purchase,” he added. Brainient are currently working with ASOS on new campaigns due to launch in the coming weeks.