- Bud Light is driving 20% completion rates on an 100-second piece of in-stream branded video content by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning technology provided by IRIS.TV's platform, per news made available to Marketing Dive. IRIS.TV, a video personalization firm, partnered with The ID Agency to distribute the short film on premium publisher sites where it played after contextually-relevant editorial video, with the goal of attaining better engagement rates than social or outstream placements.
- The idea behind IRIS.TV is to allow marketers to use creative video storytelling that emphasizes quality user experience and brand affinity as opposed to the sheer volume of impressions that's typically the focus of pre-roll ads. The IRIS.TV data network, for its part, is based on billions of video views segmented by geography, device and contextual content verticals.
- For brands, the in-stream videos' cost is based on how long the content is viewed. The IRIS.TV platform has been adopted by CBS, Time Inc., Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, the release said.
Video has become a necessary piece of any digital content marketing strategy, but marketers are still trying to suss out the best ways to grab users' attention and retain it as metrics like viewability become the industry standard. In the case of Bud Light, it's managed to keep one-fifth of viewers engaged for the entirety of a lengthy video short, which details the vibrant boxing community in East Los Angeles and has driven nearly 1.5 million hits on YouTube since being published in May.
Bud Light's strategy and IRIS.TV's platform, more generally, go against the grain of where a lot of video trends are heading online, opting for in-stream over outstream placements and eschewing extra-short ads that have become popular for bumper and pre-roll spots. Those formats, which typically run under 10 seconds in length, have been criticized by some agency creatives for hindering storytelling and emotional resonance, which IRIS.TV's approach to branded content seeks to push back against by putting a premium on entertainment value.
"Today's brands need to take an audience-first approach and ensure that content is engaging and delivered at the right time and place,” Alex Boyce, The ID Agency, said in a statement. "Traditional and pre-roll ads aren't delivering the same return as they used to. Branded content allows the opportunity to present a story versus a pitch, and with IRIS.TV, brands can optimize content strategies, dial-in audience engagement and actually increase brand perception."
Marketers are expected to spend $135 billion on online video in 2017, according to recent research from Magisto, a number 2x than what they're forecast to pay for TV spots and 1.5x what they will for digital ads. Some of that difference is indicative of how the focus for many companies is shifting from branding to engagement — a goal Bud Light is achieving based on the numbers for its campaign with IRIS.TV and The ID Agency.