It finally feels that interactive video advertising just came out of beta. Already this year we’ve seen the IAB’s new video ‘Rising Stars‘ ad units; Samsung’s T-Commerce; innovative new products from companies like Brainient, InSkin Media, and BlurbIQ; and more recently YouTube’s launch of shoppable ads. All of the formats have two key aims: to shorten the path to conversion and to boost engagement with the brand.
While interactivity has been with us for a while, truly shoppable video advertising — where the ‘click to buy’ call to action is embedded within the content/ad itself — is relatively new, and its arrival will have profound implications for brands and anyone trying to monetise video. Here are some of the more significant ones:
1. Agencies Are Going to Have to Adapt, Again
Just as agencies have started to accept the idea that video and TV buying departments need to converge, now there will be need to find extra desk space for people coming in from performance/direct response.
But who’s best equipped to handle shoppable ads: people with experience in DRTV, branded video advertising, or the data-savvy folk working on the agency trading desk? Throw some shoppable content marketing into the mix, and you’ve got yourself an agency game of musical chairs. In time, this will in all likelihood lead to a new type of hybrid agency role.
2. Brands Will Be Able to Strike Affiliate Deals with Retailers
For the most part consumers don’t want to buy low cost FMCG products individually online, which will open up opportunities for brands to strike affiliate deals with their retail partners using – wait for it – ‘in-ad ads’ (see the example from Tresemme’s YouTube channel below).
However, retailer VOD platforms such as Tesco’s Clubcard TV (although no word from them on this) will almost certainly bypass competitors, enabling consumers to pop the product directly into their shopping basket (also keep an eye out for competition concerns being raised by retail competitors if these platforms become too powerful as media players). Even for users who don’t convert, any engagement data gleaned will be used by the retailer to improve coupon and in-store marketing.
3. Traditional DRTV Agencies and Suppliers Will Have to Evolve, Starting Now
Note that the word ‘evolve’ is used above, not ‘pivot’. For now, if you want to sell walk-in baths to grannies, DRTV is still going to be a great way to do it for the next couple of years. But DRTV companies who fail to combine online video are going to struggle to catch up if they don’t get involved early on. As things stand, the market’s as nascent as any and for the most part it’s a race of headless chickens, so there’s no reason for them not to join in.
4. Interactive Ad Options Will Become a More Significant Differentiator Between Video Ad Platforms
While interactivity is here to stay, it does add an additional layer of complexity to the campaign workflow, so making it easier for buyers to execute will be key. Most video ad platforms have already integrated either third party or in-house creative services. However, as advertisers and consumers embrace shoppable video, it seems likely that formats capable of delivering conversions will win out over those that don’t, perhaps even on brand awareness campaigns.
5. Shoppable Ads Will Reinforce the Shift Towards Programmatic, Mobile, Content Marketing and the Second Screen
Pretty much all of video advertising’s shiny new toys fit can be used with shoppable video. Programmatic’s ability to integrate buy and sell-side data will blend nicely with any buyer trying to drive performance. Mobile and tablet devices were made for interactivity, plus additional features like ‘click to call’ will allow for immediate conversions on high value products traditionally sold on DRTV.
The storytelling power of branded content can be used to cleverly incorporate shoppable video, and the second screen prove key for driving TV conversions.
6. New Budget Sources Will Open Up for Video
There’s now a much stronger case for encouraging brands to push some of their DR spend – whether it’s print, direct mail, print or TV – into video for double-edged ‘brand response’ campaigns.
7. The Creative Video Advertising Companies May Start to See Some M&A Action
There are a handful of companies who could quickly give the larger players a leg up in terms of both tech and creative expertise. Companies like Innovid, Brainient, InSkin Media and BlurbIQ are all about to start becoming a lot more attractive to players lagging behind on interactivity.