Measuring online video advertising

Video pre-roll advertising has many differences to online display advertising, but the most important one from a measurement point of view is that the pre-rolls appear ON the content, whereas display advertising appears AROUND the content.

This is an important point of difference because with display advertising a user is in control of when they finish viewing the content that led them to that page in the first place, and when they click on a display advertisement.  The display stays there patiently waiting for the user to notice it, finish reading the content they came for, and to hopefully click.

With pre-rolls, the user has the choice of clicking on the pre-roll within the 15 seconds it plays for, and thus away from the page of content they wanted to view before actually viewing it, or to not click on the pre-roll. It is counter-intuitive to click away from the content before viewing it, which is why I am convinced that judging a pre-roll campaign on click through rate is absolutely the wrong measurement.

So why do so many agencies and clients still measure success in this way? Personally I think it is because video advertising is often planned and bought as a part of an online campaign, so it is almost treated as just another ad unit and measured the same way. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please do reply!

If the creative is good, has been tested and is effective at creating the desired effect with consumers, then surely knowing how many of the right people saw your advert is a very good start?

The problem is that there isn’t a better way to measure it so what do we do now?

I think it would be a great idea if the industry, meaning advertisers, agencies, networks, technology companies and media owners all put a sum of money into a central pot for research. We should get three strong pieces of research for each of the major advertising categories (motors, FMCG’s, Technology etc) that prove video advertising works.

They should be carried out by an independent company with no vested interest in any one camp. The results of these research projects should be released to all parties, totally transparently, warts and all. That way we have proof to show new clients who can in turn feel more confident in spending money on video advertising. Everyone can totally trust the results, and confidence is instilled.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this idea, or any other for that matter!


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