Video on Demand (VoD) Advertising

All about VoD advertising and why you should think about it!

COST – Video on demand advertising is charged on a cost per one thousand views, which already makes it a more accurate and targeted system than TV advertising, which operates on the “educated guess” basis of a programme’s past ratings rather than actual on-the-night viewing figures.  Big brands might have bottomless pockets but not everybody does, making VOD an attractive ‘risk’ to a company wishing to dip its toe in the water of broadcast advertising.

POPULARITY – The numbers on VOD are going up all the time, reflecting a change in viewer habits as the technology becomes more established.  Much of this growth can be attributed to the rise of the tablet computer, which offers a more convenient means of watching programmes, for example while ‘on the go.’  The reach of your advertising message is no longer confined to primetime.

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE – One of the advantages of video on demand is that the viewer is a captive to the advert.  While today’s TV viewers are time-shifting their programmes using Sky+ and fast-forwarding through the ad breaks, there is technology embedded within VOD players that doesn’t allow the viewer to skip the ad – the so-called ‘pre-roll’ ads.  Even better, if you have to restart a show later, you can’t get back to the last scene you saw without first getting a fresh batch of adverts.

EQUAL FOOTING – Unlike television – with its fiercely contested primetime slots and premium prices to match – video on demand advertising is currently a true democracy.  Ads are rotated equally, meaning the small start-up has as much chance of being seen as the established mega-brand.

INTERACTIVITY – Interactivity is an essential element, as VOD ads can link to additional web content – usually the brand’s own site or Facebook page.  Since the viewer is using a laptop or tablet, that information is literally a click away.  Don’t forget, either, that once a click is made a company has accurate data on how many viewers have answered the ad’s call to action, thereby enabling greater measurement of a campaign’s effectiveness.

FLEXIBILITY – With lower costs and less pressure on time slots, it becomes possible to experiment by creating longer, more narrative-led adverts than is traditional.  Given that this is exactly the style that has served John Lewis so well, it’s a tactic worth pursuing in order to engage with consumers, especially a tech-savvy generation brought up on YouTube which is used to bite-sized storytelling.

KUDOS – There’s an argument that the early adopters going into VOD get ‘cool points’ for doing so.  According to research conducted in 2011 by the Advanced Advertising Media Project (AAMP), consumers see no difference between ads on TV or VOD – “they accept advertising on VOD as a logical part of the on-demand experience.”  More interestingly, this association reflects back well on the viewer, because “on-demand television has a positive effect on consumers’ sense of control over content and advertising.”

IT’S THE FUTURE – Video on Demand is relatively new, and broadcasters and advertisers are still innovating.  Consider Sky’s AdSmart, an ‘opt in’ service that uses data about the viewer to push targeted ads in place of the standard roll.  Such a system is highly targeted – by lifestyle, affluence or region – and potentially allows the viewer to take control of the ads they want to see, as well as offering the advertiser a unique opportunity to reach a qualified audience.

In short, video on demand advertising is young, fresh and relatively inexpensive. So there’s never been a better time to consider it.

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