Audience, Customisation and Multitasking: a Cross-Screen Video Advertising 101



Owen Hanks, YuMeWhile digital advertising has opened up opportunities for advertising on muliple new fronts, the impact any video creative will have is nuanced by the screen size, the audience behaviour and the context. Here Owen Hanks, General Manager Europe, YuMe explains how advertisers can start to navigate the cross-screen world to deliver optimal impact. Owen will be speaking on a panel titled ‘Walking the Walk: Making Cross-Screen Video Advertising a Reality’ on day one at New Video Frontiers, London, Oct 20-21st.

Video advertising continues its extraordinary ascent – reaching £442 million in the UK alone last year according to the IAB’s latest digital ad spending statistics. Technological advances such as faster connection speeds allow consumers to access video content in more locations via an ever-increasing range of devices.  Advertisers are trying to keep pace with this change in viewing habits – mobile video advertising is the fastest growing ad format with a year-on-year spend increase of 142 percent – but there is more that can be done by brands to maximise the potential of this channel.

So how can brands optimise their digital video advertising strategy across all platforms?

Find the right audience

As content consumption evolves, audiences are increasingly difficult to define. Rather than tuning into specific shows or accessing fixed channels, audiences seamlessly traverse channels and devices to find the content they want. This makes demographic targeting less effective and means advertisers need to segment audiences by interests and affinities instead. The ability to identify users across all devices – combined with advanced segmentation techniques such as household targeting – is vital to optimising the value of every impression. It’s no longer enough to identify the right consumer; brands must find them at the right time, on the right screen, in their most attentive state.

Customise ads by platform

Cross-screen video advertising means far more than serving a TV commercial to desktop or mobile screens. Engagement patterns differ by device, so for maximum performance ads need to be customised for individual platforms. Smartphone users experience an early peak of emotional engagement, so branding should be delivered during the first ten seconds of a mobile ad, while TV ads tend to achieve an emotional peak at the end, so finishing with branding is more effective. Keeping ads short and impactful works well across all devices – with 15 second slots driving high levels of engagement – but tablet users are likely to stay engaged for longer periods of time, with tablets dramatically outperforming smartphones in 30 second ads. Each device type has a series of intrinsic strengths that can be leveraged when designing cross-screen video campaigns.

Factor in multitasking

Understanding how audiences engage with video ads on specific devices is essential, but brands must also recognise consumers are using multiple devices concurrently, and should use digital multitasking to their advantage. Advertisers still favour TV for its reach, immersive experience, and proven effectiveness, but TV viewers tend to tune in and tune out, whereas second screens including laptops, tablets, and smartphones are more effective at retaining consumer attention. Digital provides the opportunity for increased engagement while complementing TV campaigns in a multi-tasking environment. Viewing ads on multiple devices has a positive impact on key metrics such as favourability, purchase consideration, and recommendation intent, so advertisers should embrace the opportunities digital multitasking brings for connected, cross-screen brand storytelling.

Video is the ad format of the future and as consumer viewing habits fragment across channels and platforms brands must adapt to keep up. By finding the right audience at the right time, understanding how consumers engage with video on different devices, and planning campaigns that make the most of digital multitasking, brands can master the art of cross-screen video advertising.


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