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YouTubeAds

Finding the right length for video ads can be a tricky balancing act. Too short and you can’t get your message across. Too long and you annoy or lose your viewers’ interest. Apparently, 30-second ads fail this tightrope walk, as YouTube has officially announced it will be doing away with 30-second unskippable ads starting next year.

In place of these ads, Google says it will focus on more interactive or user-based advertising.

“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,” a YouTube spokesperson told AdWeek via email.

Of course, this doesn’t mean YouTube is ridding itself of all unskippable ads. The platform will still sell 15-second and 20-second ads that don’t give viewers the option to skip to their content. Additionally, viewers are likely to see an influx of six-second “bumper ads” instead of full-length ads that you can skip after five seconds.

Ultimately, 30-second unskippable ads lose too many viewers along the way. Some get distracted during the interval, while others entirely refuse to wait that long for their content. There is still plenty of time to make use of any ad campaigns you’ve been planning, but the decision to move away from this ad format underscores the ineffective nature of the format.

The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest day of the year with brands spending millions to get their products in the spotlight. Many tune in just to enjoy the biggest ads of the year and this year commercials gave audiences a fair share of laughs, pangs of nostalgia, and surprises – though maybe not anything as shocking as the Patriot’s comeback.

Of course, these days you don’t have to sit through the big-game (and insanely long pre-show) to see the ads. Several advertisers shared their campaigns early on YouTube, and the others were uploaded as they aired for you to watch and re-watch.

To make sure you catch the best and biggest ads of this year’s Super Bowl, I collected five of the most unforgettable commercials you’re likely to hear people talking about:

Snickers Live Commercial

https://youtu.be/_9M_wQDTTdk

Most brands spend weeks shooting and editing their commercials ahead of the game to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. Snickers took a different route this year with a live commercial starring Adam Driver which ends in a (perfectly orchestrated) catastrophe. It’s a novel twist on the typical Super Bowl ad in a way that perfectly ties into the message, and I predict other brands may follow their lead in the future.

Avocados From Mexico

https://youtu.be/VneoEvAJX0g

Comedy in Super Bowl ads usually boils down to celebrities doing zany things (and yes, we will get to one of those soon). But, the funniest ad in this year’s game is almost entirely celebrity free – aside from SNL’s Jon Lovitz, if you consider him a celebrity.

Instead, it sets up a simple premise of a secret society gathering to discuss their recent leaks, including all the most well-known conspiracy theories. Even better, the brand took a risk and slipped in a “Deflategate” joke knowing there was a good chance the Patriots would make it to the Super Bowl – and it payed off beautifully.

T-Mobile – #NSFWireless

https://youtu.be/pNCG9fHGXB0

T-Mobile went with the “celebrities doing zany things” angle this year, with mixed results. While the dancing Justin Bieber ads were eye-rollingly awkward, two hilarious commercials starring comedian and actress Kristen Schaal more than make up for their missteps.

Schaal, playing a Verizon customer addicted to being treated poorly by her service provider, perfectly sells the message that only a masochist would enjoy the customer experience of T-Mobile’s competitors.

It’s a 10 – Four Years

Perhaps unsurprisingly, politics also played a major role in ad campaigns from several advertisers including Budweiser and Audi. While those ads were beautiful, my favorite political ad of the night took a lighter tone. Opening with “America, we are in for at least four years of awful hair,” It’s a 10 urges viewers to “do your part by making up for it with great hair.”

Understated and smart, the brand left a mark on their night with a truly bipartisan message urging everyone to take pride in their hair.

Tide Cleans Terry Bradshaw’s Shirt

https://youtu.be/jF3otdfvSBQ

Terry Bradshaw and Tide teamed up last night to tear down the walls between reality and advertisements like never seen before. Many viewers noted that Bradshaw returned from commercial in the second quarter with a conspicuously large stain on his shirt, which prompted mass ridicule on social media.

But, the joke was on us. Bradshaw’s stain was setting up a Tide ad telling an epic journey from the broadcasting booth to actor Jeffrey Tambor’s house to clean out the stain and do some quiet sitting in front of the TV. The ending is enjoyable enough on its own, but the creative breaking of the fourth wall makes Tide’s campaign a standout ad of the night.

YouTube Ads

YouTube may be one of Google’s largest platforms, but it gets treated a bit like the black sheep when it comes to Google’s ad services. Targeting has been limited compared to typical AdWords options, and ad options have been built around desktop functionality first.

This is all starting to change, as Google says it is rolling out several updates aimed to make advertising on YouTube better on both mobile and desktop. The announcement also mentioned that over 50% of YouTube videos are now happening on mobile, which likely motivated the change in how they think about ads on the platform.

Target Advertising

Google is now allowing YouTube ads to utilize information associated with users’ Google accounts like their search history, demographic information, and whether the viewer has engaged with an advertiser in the past to better target who sees your ad.

More Focus on Mobile

In response to the increasingly mobile viewership of YouTube, Google is shifting away from a desktop-first mindset. To do this, they are moving from using cookies and pixels because they were not designed for targeting users on YouTube’s mobile, TV, and set-top box apps. The hope is to make tracking and ad functionality more accurate across all devices.

Better Control of What Ads You See

Not all of the new changes are limited to advertisers. Google is also introducing the option for users to device what ads they see on both Google and YouTube from one location. For example, if a user mutes a specific advertiser in Search, the advertiser will also be muted for the user when they watch videos on YouTube.

Video finally came into its own as a content marketing format over the past year, with the launch of 360-degree videos, Facebook Live, and all sorts of new features for video marketing on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

It was only a matter of time, as video has been a huge part of the online ecosystem since the launch of YouTube all those years ago. Currently, estimates suggest up to 78% of all people watch videos online every week and 55% percent make it a daily activity.  That means if you have been ignoring online video as a marketing channel for your business, you’re missing out on a huge and highly engaged audience.

With the start of the new year, many businesses are considering finally making video marketing a part of their larger advertising strategy. If you aren’t, you might want to reconsider. This infographic created by HighQ shows exactly why 2017 is poised to be the year video marketing blows up. You don’t want to be lagging behind when it does.

Video Marketing Infographic

Video is finally experiencing the dominance many have claimed it would rise to since the release of YouTube. No matter which platform you look at, it is hard not to see videos littered throughout all your feeds.

This includes Twitter, which has made video a major part of its platform. As such, Twitter has also been keeping close track of how videos on its platform perform, to help advertisers know who is watching what, when, and whether these viewers are taking the time to watch pre-roll ads.

Twitter and AdWeek just released the platform’s annual Online Video Playbook to share what makes Twitter uniquely suited to video content. In particular, the research shows that video ads in Twitter are at least twice as memorable as ads presented on other services.

“As we navigate the dynamic world of video, these insights can help marketers and agencies unlock massive opportunity,” said David Roter, agency development director at Twitter. “We refer back to this playbook as we work strategically with our partners to develop innovative and creative campaigns.”

Check out the infographic below or at AdWeek:

birds-view

Twitter Video

Twitter’s video features have been a hit with users, including Periscope, the Twitter-owned live streaming platform. However, the company has struggled to find ways to monetize visual content.

This week, Twitter announced it was launching several changes to make it easier for advertisers to reach video audiences and creators to monetize their content.

For starters, the company is allowing advertisers to run pre-roll ads that appear before a video begins to play. Similar to YouTube’s pre-roll ads, the video advertisements will allow users to skip the ad if they are not interested.

For creators, adding these new pre-roll ads s as easy as signing up for Twitter’s Amplify program and opting-in to use pre-roll ads. You can choose to use the ads on an individual basis or by making pre-roll ads default on all video content.

In addition to the new ad format, Twitter is also making some changes to its Media Studio and Twitter Engage app to improve the monetization of content and advertising across its platform. These changes include:

  • A unified media library including videos, GIFs, and images.
  • Tweet scheduling features.
  • Team management and multi-account support.
  • Improved upload performance and overall stability.
  • An Earnings section detailing your monetization performance.

The biggest wrinkle for Twitter has been deciding how to monetize videos across Periscope live streams. The nature of live streaming video makes it difficult to incorporate ad breaks. Instead, Twitter is allowing Periscope users to seek and connect sponsors for live broadcasts.

These sponsors can then run pre-roll ads before live broadcasts begin.

Considering Periscope videos appear in Twitter timelines and live videos, the decision to incorporate pre-roll ads helps bring the streaming app more in line with Twitter’s other services while making them more attractive for both content creators and advertisers.

Facebook Video has quickly grown to rival YouTube, so it is unsurprising that video ads have also become a major part of Facebook’s advertising platform. But, as more and more companies share their ads on Facebook, it is becoming significantly more difficult to stand out.

To help companies make the best ads possible for their platform and best engage their audience, Facebook took it upon itself to test out their video ads to see what is best in the eyes of consumers.

Facebook showed 965 video ads targeted to the United States and Europe to a panel of consumers in a way that mimicked Facebook News Feed on mobile and asked the participants to evaluate each ad based on four factors: first impressions, branding, messaging, and video features.

Let’s break down the biggest findings of the report:

Engage Users Fast Without Audio

The majority of marketers aren’t taking how users watch videos into account when they create their ads, according to the report. Despite the fact that videos play silently in the News Feed by default and many users watch without sound entirely, only 24% of the ads were comprehensible without ads.

Additionally, only 23% of these ads included brand messaging that was easy to understand within the first 10 seconds of video and less than half (46%) featured recognizable brand links.

sound-facebook-090516

tenseconds-facebook-090516

Brands that ensured their ads quickly established their messaging and were understandable without sound were drastically more popular among respondents than those who didn’t.

Keep Your Messaging Clear To Spark Engagement

Videos that were intended to create a conversation and succinctly communicated a brands’ message were also more liked by participants in the study.

conversation-facebook-090516

For more insights from Facebook’s study, read the report here.

 OnlineVideo

Advertisers are seeing more value in online video ads than traditional TV advertising, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureaus’ third annual Video Ad Spend study.

The annual survey asks 360 marketing and media buying professionals about their past ad spend habits and how they plan to spend their ad budgets in the next year. The takeaway from this year’s findings is that advertisers are moving away from traditional advertising channels in order to reach the more diverse audience online.

“Marketers and agencies are telling us they clearly see great value in original digital video programming,” said Anna Bager, svp and general manager of mobile and video at IAB.

The majority of advertisers surveyed by IAB (72%) said they plan to move advertising spending away from TV ads in favor of focusing on improving and sharing digital ads in the next year.

Out of those advertisers who said they intend to increase their digital video spending, 41% said they plan to pull from cable TV advertising. Similarly, 47% of these advertisers plan to pull from broadcast TB spending.

Some advertisers said they would also pull from non-video ads online (30%), advanced-interactive TV (30%), and mobile video ads (28%).

Most tellingly, more than two-thirds of advertisers and marketers (68%) said they believe original digital video will be as, if not more, important than, original TV programming within three to five years.

The study also found that advertisers and media buyers have increased their overall investments in digital video by more than 114 percent over the past two years, averaging more than $10 million annually spent on digital video.

YouTube Mobile

The internet is becoming more mobile every day, and that goes for how we engage with videos every day. To help advertisers accommodate mobile video consumption, YouTube has announced a new ad format designed specifically to be quickly consumed in a matter of seconds.

With YouTube’s “little haikus of video ads”, which are officially called ‘Bumper Ads’, advertisers can run short, unskippable ads up to six seconds long that run before videos. While these are similar to YouTube’s skippable TrueView ads, Bumper ads are capped at six seconds and aimed at catching people’s short attention spans on mobile devices.

The new ad format will start rolling out to advertisers this month and can be purchased through the normal AdWords platform.

You can see two examples of Bumper ads below – one from Audi Germany and another for Atlantic Records advertising a new album from English band Rudimental.

“Bumper ads are ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency, especially on mobile, where ‘snackable videos’ perform well,” Zach Lupei, product manager of video ads at Google, said in a blog post. “In early tests, Bumpers drove strong lift in upper funnel metrics like recall, awareness and consideration—complementing TrueView’s strength in driving middle and lower funnel metrics like favorability and purchase intent.”

FBVidVsYouTube

The war between YouTube and Facebook for the most popular online platform for sharing and watching videos is heating up, and Facebook may win a major victory this weekend.

With the Super Bowl upon us, everyone is gearing up for one of the greatest competitions of the year – the fight for the most watched Super Bowl ad. But, more Super Bowl ads and teaser videos are being shared online ahead of the big game, and TV ad analytics company iSpot.tv says may be the new place for watching the biggest ads of the year online.

It is a close fight, with Facebook barely pulling ahead of YouTube, but it is a big win for the company either way. YouTube dominated online Super Bowl ads last year, but Facebook has pushed their video platform heavily over the year and seen massive increases in both views and shares.

Source: Marketing Land

Source: Marketing Land

According to iSpot.tv’s data counting video views through Tuesday, February 2, approximately 75 million super bowl ads videos have been viewed on Facebook, compared to 74.9 million on YouTube. As the published report on Marketing Land shows, the numbers are neck-and-neck. But, it is a huge change from last year where YouTube received 87.6 million to Facebook’s 45.5 million.

In most cases, an argument can be made to explain the discrepancy. Facebook counts video views when a user watches for just three seconds, but YouTube doesn’t count until “around” 30 seconds in. However, iSpot.tv says it uses a three-second standard for counting views on both platforms.