Streaming video expands opportunities for advertisers
As streamers experiment with different approaches to monetizing content, they are also inviting marketers to test out new ad formats and enable advertisers to get more creative in order to reach ad-averse audiences.
In Comperemedia’s 2020 Omnichannel Marketing Trend “Paddling Upstream,” Director of Insights Laura Ziemer acknowledged the importance of streaming video to the marketer’s playbook:
“As consumers increasingly turn to streaming platforms for their video consumption, it’s not enough for brands to simply use a TV recut for pre-roll ads. Marketers will plan for streaming campaigns that account for unique behaviors like bingeing, pausing, and heavy earned social engagement around major premieres…. Consumers will respond to integrated experiences that blend seamlessly into their consumption.”
Ad-supported video invites experimentation
Streamers are playing with which content they place behind a paywall, and which content they make free and ad-supported. They are also introducing new ad formats, such as NBCU‘s voice-enabled ads on Peacock, which can help cut down the friction between an ad view and a consumer action, while providing new insights for marketers.
Hulu launched a commercial format encouraging customers to redeem an offer via QR code. This ad experience enables viewers of an ad to scan a QR code to go to a mobile site and either claim an offer or learn more about the company/product. By enabling the viewer to move directly from the ad to the website, the advertiser minimizes the risk that an interested viewer will become distracted and forget about a product or offer before they seek more information.
Interactive ads like these provide a wealth of information to advertisers, including what types of consumers are engaging with their ads, and which offers are driving the most interest and conversions. They also aid attribution by cutting out possible steps in between the video ad view and the site visit.
Brand-driven content makes for subtle advertising
Advertising developments are making both ad spots and content more shoppable. But many brands are finding creative ways to build content that espouses their values or builds customer engagement, without actively selling products. In April, Viking launched an “experience channel,” featuring videos that cruisers would have seen on board Viking ships, as well as new, live content from “experts, cultural partners and notable individuals.” Viking offers themes for each day, such as “Museum Mondays” and “Wellness Weekends.” After the live airings, the content is made available on demand.
With this service, Viking enables customers to indulge their travel itch even when they are stuck at home (and reminisce about places they’ve been to) – and it certainly provides inspiration for deciding where to go when they can someday travel again.
Marketing savant Ryan Reynolds is renowned for his clever brand integrations for Aviation Gin and Mint Mobile. Reynolds starred in the Netflix action original 6 Underground released December 2019. The actor was not only able to secure product placement for Aviation Gin within the film, but ran a co-promotion with alcohol delivery company Drizly to get bottles delivered to viewers’ homes.
When ads are expected, their absence is meaningful
Ad-supported video services make a statement when they withhold advertising, as Disney did with its commercial-free airing of Black Panther on ABC, upon the passing of the film’s star Chadwick Boseman. When done deliberately, withholding ads can make a powerful statement.
What we think
The 2020 Omnichannel Trend Paddling Upstream predicted 2020 would be the year advertisers would proactively adopt a streaming strategy, the same way a marketer would for any other channel. COVID-19 only accelerated this trend. Savvy marketers now account for behaviors unique to these platforms, where many shows or multiple episodes are available in one drop. Unique ad offerings service everyone from the goliaths to the start-ups, ensuring streaming will become the next competitive forefront in advertising, and ushering in a new era of creativity.