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Interactive video revs up while truly native experiences lag

Mobile video has skyrocketed with consumer use and brand adoption, but interactive video ads are taking the tactic another step further by fully immersing viewers into content, challenging marketers to learn a new skill set. 

Marketers tapping into interactive video such as Jeep?s recent mobile video ads that take a choose-your-own-story format have a big opportunity to make a lasting impression on consumers. But it is imperative that those leveraging the tactic focus on a valuable user experience that also effectively coincides with their brand image and overall message.

?Next year, I am hopeful that we will see interactive video move from the ?because-we-can? state of things to the ?because-we-should,?? said David Weinstock, chief creative officer at Decoded Advertising. ?For years, advertisers have been trying to get clients to buy the idea of interactive video, in a million formats, and they do not bite. 

?It needs to feel native to what I am doing, fostering the expectations of the platform, and then putting that interactive spin on them,? he said. ?The Other Side of Honda does a tremendous job of that. 

?My YouTube experience is enhanced with a simple functional change and some really compelling content. The idea is not lost in the technology, even for a second, and that is the sweet spot.?

Interacting with video
Advertisers are opting for an interactive video experience on mobile more and more. For instance, Jeep recently generated a 43-second average in-view time by pairing an optimized banner ad with interactive mobile video in a choose-your-own story format, likely seeing success by making sure not to intrude on the reading experience (see more). 

Jeep's choose-your-own-story video advertisement

Interactive mobile video, which requires viewers to complete an action within the content, can often catch consumers? attention through the ?coolness? factor of the newer technology. But brands that tap into this strategy without creating a truly purposeful experience can cause an adverse effect on sentiment. 

Users that take the time out to interact with a brand expect a rewarding experience. This means marketers need to focus on creating an interactive video that has significant entertainment value or provides some sort of information or reward. 

?The worst way to approach interactive video is putting your sales goals at the forefront and treating the user experience as an afterthought,? said Brian Pettigrew, president of TVGla. ?If the user takes time to engage you need to reward them with a valuable experience either through information or entertainment.?

Shiny new object
Brands should not jump to interactive video ads just because it is the next best thing. Focusing on making sure the content and message represents the brand?s values is essential; straying away from this can cause a negative attitude. 

For mobile video, the more engagement calls-to-action there are, the better. The more users interact with the content, the more the content will resonate with them. 

?Finding unique, cutting-edge ways of reaching consumers is critical for several reasons, chief among them being survival,? said Casey Wilson, digital media director at Chacka Marketing. ?Advertisers who opt to avoid this approach will be overrun by their less tech-averse competitors. Interactive video ads are just the most recent wave of creative engagement methods, and I expect the medium will continue growing.?