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Video Marketing

Note from the editor

More than 200 million online video viewers will help to drive video ad spending to more than $100 billion by 2023, Forrester forecasts. But to ensure these billions of dollars aren't wasted, marketers must adapt to several challenges, often at the same time.

Connected TVs and over-the-top platforms continue to change how people watch TV, while major players like YouTube and Facebook are set to battle with Disney and AT&T for eyeballs and ad dollars. Amid the flux, the only certainty is that new ad formats and opportunities will crop up in the coming days, months and years.

The rapid growth and constant evolution of video consumption makes it a tantalizing outlet for viewers, creators and brands alike. Video will only grow more essential as the digital landscape continues to shift and as marketers experiment with the format to encourage brand affinity and engage ad-fatigued consumers.

This report details multiple aspects of the changing role of video in marketing:

  • Why advertisers can't take their eyes off connected TV
  • How new ad formats deliver viewership — and at what cost
  • The promise of interactive marketing
  • How video turns millennials into consumers

These are just a few of the many aspects affecting the evolution of video in the marketing landscape. We hope you enjoy this deep dive into current trends in the space.

Chris Kelly Associate Editor

4 takeaways on video from Advertising Week

The challenges and opportunities spurred by a changing landscape were top of mind for executives at the annual event.

The exponential growth of video consumption has made it a tantalizing playground for viewers, creators and brands, and it will only grow more essential as the digital landscape continues to shift and as marketers experiment with the format to spark brand affinity and creatively engage ad-fatigued consumers.

The number of online video viewers was set to pass 200 million in 2018, driving spending on video advertising from $91 billion to more than $100 billion by 2023, Forrester forecasts. But to make sure these billions of dollars aren't wasted, marketers will have to adapt to several challenges, often at the same time. During Advertising Week 2018, these challenges — from how to leverage Instagram's IGTV and shoppable video, to courting Generation Z and tackling cross-platform video — were the subject of many panel discussions. Here are some of the major takeaways from the week's events.

Instagram's battle for the popular vote

The June 2018 kickoff of Instagram's standalone video app, IGTV, comes as social media companies look to expand their functionality beyond core uses of connecting with friends. Now standing on the shoulders of Facebook — the social media giant owns Instagram — IGTV has the chance to tap into the social network's 2.2 billion users and Instagram's 1 billion to potentially vie with YouTube in a battle for audience eyes and ad dollars.

In an "IGTV versus YouTube" discussion that coincided with the end of Advertising Week, video experts from MediaRadar, iProspect, Goldman Sachs and Reprise Digital compared the two platforms and deemed it hardly a battle of equals, despite YouTube's vulnerable state from brand safety blunders in 2018.

Most of the panelists agreed that Google-owned YouTube is still the clear winner when it comes to video platforms, due to its name recognition, efficiency in addressing brand safety concerns, discoverability via Google search and track record of success around longer-form content. For brands that don't yet have strong content or a strategic video playbook, however, IGTV makes more sense for experimentation.

"If a brand is struggling with their messaging, then [IGTV] is best for them because they can experiment with different brand messages and see how their consumers respond."

Brittany Richter

U.S. head of social media, iProspect

"If a brand is struggling with their messaging, then [IGTV] is best for them because they can experiment with different brand messages and see how their consumers respond," said Brittany Richter, iProspect's U.S. head of social media.

Early on, established brands like National GeographicBacardi and Mercedes-Benz were quick to dabble with IGTV as the standalone video app's novelty drew in curious viewers. Brands on the platform appear to be extending their reach to younger audiences by delivering unique content on platforms where those people already spend time online. High-profile users including Kim Kardashian West, Selena Gomez, Lele Pons and Instagram-famous dog Jiffpom tested IGTV at launch, illustrating Richter's argument that Instagram and IGTV are designed for influencers and brands that use influencers more than other platforms.

While panelists said they've yet to see creators flock from YouTube to IGTV, Instagram's emphasis on mobile gives the new platform a leg up, as younger audiences continue to shift their viewing habits to mobile devices from TVs with a cable connection.

If YouTube wants to continue to win the popular vote among video platforms, Wavemaker's managing partner Noah Mallin urges that "it needs to get more mobile. It's still stuck in its desktop roots."

Marrying data and personalization with shoppable video

"I think many CPG companies are struggling. Loyalty is fleeting and we're seeing the collapse of the purchase funnel," Lisa Mathison, Conagra Brands' senior director of media, said during an Advertising Week session. "We've got to change our marketing model to meet these new behaviors."

For Conagra, those new behaviors have led the company to embrace shoppable video. To promote snack brands Slim Jim, David Seeds and Orville Redenbacher popcorn, Conagra teamed with Innovid to create and test how interactive videos compare to standard pre-roll through an animated overlay on desktop and a full canvas ad that wrapped around a video on mobile. The mobile version led to a 39% higher click-through rate, and the desktop version saw a 22% lift in video completion rate, according to Innovid research.

"We've got to change our marketing model to meet these new behaviors."

Lisa Mathison

Senior director of media, Conagra Brands

L'Oréal faced similar challenges and wanted to both drive customers to brick-and-mortar locations and boost web traffic through digital video. The company teamed with Innvoid to create 2,000 video versions across four Giorgio Armani campaigns that featured retailers Macy's, Sephora and Ulta. The videos used data-driven overlays to highlight the nearest store and pushed viewers to click-through to the retailer's website. L'Oréal​ saw double-digit growth in CTR, Innovid found.

Cotton Inc. has also seen success with shoppable video campaigns. A Bloomingdale's 60-second fashion show, which let viewers of a minute-long clip of a runway show buy featured items via desktop or mobile, saw a 16% engagement rate, outpacing the industry average of 6.67%. The research and marketing organization for cotton has also seen early success with its Fashion Delivered campaign, an Amazon video experience that pairs a long-format video of a runway show with a carousel of shoppable items that syncs with the video.

"With these unique experiences, especially shoppable video, we're able to see some exciting results," Marissa Di Mascio Barlin, director of Cotton's consumer marketing-strategic alliances department, said at the Mobile Marketing Association's Innovate conference that coincided with Advertising Week.

Reaching Gen Z

Unsurprisingly, how to engage Generation Z — the 67 million people born between 1995 and 2010 — was a hot topic at Advertising Week. The age group, which contributes more than $40 billion to the U.S. economy and influences more than 10 times that much, is expected to make up more purchasing power than any other generation in the coming years. How to reach and harness that buying power is a concern of nearly every marketer.

"This is a generation that values choice and flexibility more than prior generations, and they're choosing brands, products and services that offer them choice and flexibility," said Hulu CMO Kelly Campbell during an Advertising Week session.

Campbell explained how Hulu's ad-supported and ad-free options put the decision of how to pay for the streaming platform in the hands of consumers, but that isn't the only way marketers can reach younger viewers on the platform.

"We can get really creative with brands to reach their consumers," Campbell said, pointing to a recent partnership with Lyft around Hulu's "Marvel's Runaways" series. After noticing that the Gen Z cast was arriving to work via the ride-hailing service, Hulu worked to integrate Lyft into the show in an organic way.

"I think we'll see more of those unique experiences and unique integrations [moving forward]," she said.

"Brands need new ways to get their product across, and storytelling is going to be that way that happens."

Nancy Dubuc

CEO, Vice Media

No stranger to unique experiences and integrations is Vice Media, a pioneer in the branded content and branded entertainment space.

"Brands need to learn to tell stories about their products," CEO Nancy Dubuc said during the same session as Campbell.

"Ad avoidance is only going to grow, and the traditional 15-, 30- and 60-second spot is going to evolve. Brands need new ways to get their product across, and storytelling is going to be that way that happens," she said, adding that this is especially true among Gen Zers who are particularly averse to traditional advertising.

Challenges with cross-platform

As ad spending on online video and streaming TV increases, marketers continue to face challenges as they adapt content for different screens, such as TV, desktop, mobile and OTT.

"The audience has different expectations for each platform," said Peter Kain, agency BBDO New York's executive creative director, said at a session during the conference.

Kain pointed to the difference between audiences accepting two minutes of ads during a football game versus the pushback YouTube received when it tested 30-second pre-roll spots. He advised marketers develop "platform-proof" ideas and to "take the idea and know the best way to reward the audience for their time."

"How do we plan that holistically without having a holistic view?"

Nadine Karp McHugh

SVP of omni media, L'Oréal USA

Having ideas that are platform-agnostic is increasingly essential. In the CPG market, there's been a 48% growth in data-driven video, a 76% bump in interactive video and a 28% increase in connected TV, new Innovid research shows. And while these platforms work — interactive video and connected TV drove 24% and 106% lifts in engagement, respectively, compared to desktop — they're often walled gardens where marketers don't have all the information needed to advertise effectively.

"If I had my way, there wouldn't be walled gardens. They'd open the gates to the garden so we could do true omnichannel planning," L'Oréal USA's​ Nadine Karp McHugh said at a session during Advertising Week. "How do we plan that holistically without having a holistic view?"

Article top image credit: Jakob Owens / Unsplash

Netflix's hit 'Bandersnatch' takes interactive marketing to new level

Netflix's release of "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" at the end of 2018 is the streaming platform's most successful experiment to date with choose-your-own-adventure digital content, and it arrives at a time when interest is growing in interactive video. For example, Walmart and video technology developer Eko have a joint venture to produce interactive content ranging from cooking shows to toy catalogs. Eko has previously worked with other marketers, including the film studio MGM, which it helped to create an interactive update to the '80s movie "War Games." However, Netflix has an early start with choose-your-own-adventure programming, which it could leverage for powerful marketing tools, Jesse Damiani wrote in The Verge.

The first choice users must make in "Bandersnatch," which has viewers guide the decisions of an increasingly paranoid video game designer, is between cereal brands, one of which is Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. Damiani referred to this strategy as a type of "programmatic product placement" that could theoretically become more diverse as Netflix evolves its technology beyond the exclusively binary or singular narrative choices presented to viewers of "Bandersnatch."

The presence of Kellogg in "Bandersnatch" is infrequent but fairly direct, per Marketing Dive's viewing of the program. In the first decision-making point, where the protagonist's aloof father presents his son cereal options for breakfast, Frosted Flakes are measured up against Sugar Puffs, a U.K. offering that rebranded to Honey Monster Puffs in 2014, according to The Verge. Given the rebrand and its smaller market share, Sugar Puffs inherently has less name recognition than Frosted Flakes, which could encourage some viewers to choose Kellogg's. On the narrative path Marketing Dive took throughout "Bandersnatch," Frosted Flakes didn't appear to be featured again, save for in a retro commercial with Tony the Tiger that plays on a TV in the background.

The types of decisions viewers make while watching Netflix interactive content could ultimately guide how the streaming platform segments its audiences and caters product integration to specific genres. Damiani suggested the company could associate Frosted Flakes with dystopian thrillers aimed at 18- to 24-year-old men, for example. The data accrued from viewers' cumulative decision-making over time could also be a way for Netflix to deepen third-party partnerships and also how it presents content to viewers, with different products and brands automatically displayed in shows and movies based on a viewer's past preferences.

Analysts have speculated for awhile that Netflix could integrate some forms of advertising into its content, but the idea has always been one carrying a high risk: How does the platform not alienate viewers who've become accustomed to paying for an entirely ad-free experience? Deeper product integration is an approach even traditional TV networks are adopting more frequently to allay audiences' ad fatigue, but gamifying those experiences through interactive storytelling could be a unique — and potentially more robust and personalized — ad format for Netflix. It might also be an essential way for the platform, which currently has a significant amount of long-term debt, to keep consumers engaged, attract more marketing dollars and differentiate from a growing pool of rivals that includes Amazon and the pending arrival of Disney+ in 2019.

A subtle recurrence of brands that users have previously shown favor for could make Netflix's product integrations during interactive content feel less intrusive and more curated. There's been no real outcry over Kellogg's presence in "Bandersnatch," according to Damiani. That type of acceptance could, of course, change as the novelty of interactive streaming content wears off and if the product placement becomes frequent and blatant.

Article top image credit: Netflix

Why advertisers can't take their eyes off the connected TV opportunity

Despite challenges around measurement, frequency and complexity, marketers suggest connected TV should be more than an extension of linear TV marketing budgets.

If brands are occasionally finding it difficult to see the long-term future of investing in traditional linear television, the big picture for connected TV might be even blurrier.

A report from eMarketer, for example, predicted that 60% of the U.S. population will watch connected TV (CTV) at least once a month by 2022. That kind of growth has created a wave of interest among platform providers and networks, including Hearst Television Inc, which announced an over-the-top (OTT) ad platform involving a partnership with Roku.

There's also the sense that, as more digitally native consumers come of age, CTV may be one of the few ways to reach cord cutters or "cord nevers" who eschew traditional cable TV packages, according to several agency executives who spoke with Marketing Dive. A September 2018 survey of 2,000 people showed streaming leads as the most-used video platform by millennials at 49%, and 45% for Generation Z, according to data shared by Minneapolis-based research firm Magid.

Behind the scenes, however, agencies and marketers say CTV faces a number of growing pains, including a highly complex ecosystem of players, difficulties with inventory and the basic question of where the necessary budget should come from. Should brands add CTV as its own line item, for instance, as a digital add-on or make it part of the overall TV budget?

"What excites me the most is considering connected TV as an extension of digital spend, because it allows for more segmenting and advanced tracking on a larger scale," said Jeff Ratner, chief media officer at digital agency iCrossing. "If you think of it this way, connected TV presents brands that have not coughed up big dollars for TV an opportunity to get more granular with their targeting."

Targeting without cookies

The exact nature of targeting may not always be what brands expect, however. While marketers can aim CTV ads at a specific household, for instance, the platforms don't use cookies that could help connect to a specific individual. This can also affect delivery tracking and evaluating duplication and attribution. The fact that so many living rooms are becoming filled with other "smart" devices such as speakers or tablets that use the same sign-in credentials may help offset the challenge, according to Raphael Rivilla, media and connections planning partner at Cleveland, Ohio-based agency Marcus Thomas LLC.

"CTV actually offers the same audience targeting capabilities as digital video buys," Rivilla told Marketing Dive, adding that brands can work with a programmatic partner to use first-party data, third-party data and look-alike modeling to target their spots. "All of these can infer and connect relationships between cookies, mobile device IDs, households, smart TVs or connected TV devices."

A fragmented landscape

While marketing through linear TV might have once meant looking at a handful of major networks, brands exploring CTV are faced with a daunting mix of choices. These include those making smart TVs and OTT devices like Apple TVs and Rokus, to gaming consoles like Xbox, to all the different TV sticks such as Amazon Fire and Google's Chromecast.

"Welcome to my life," joked Dan Weiner, senior VP of enterprise sales and connected TV platform at SteelHouse, a Los Angeles-based ad tech firm. "I came from the streaming radio world and it was the same thing when we started to see the audience migration from FM radio. At first there were a couple of a players, like Pandora, iHeart and Rdo. Then came Apple, then Amazon and it was a lot more complicated."

"The big advantage of CTV over linear TV is that it can be measured against other behaviors across devices, which leads to more interesting data points than reach, frequency and viewability."

Raphael Rivilla

Media and connections planning partner, Marcus Thomas

Choosing the right partner and platform will ultimately come down to audience and goals, Weiner said. If a marketer is seeking brand awareness, for instance, he suggested choosing a partner who has similar inventory to linear TV and cable networks. If the goal is to drive specific actions like visiting a website or making a purchase, brands will need platforms and third parties with significant attribution capabilities, he said.

In the absence of traditional third-party verification, however, CTV remains a marketing channel where confirming things like viewability is also complex. Rivilla from Marcus Thomas pointed to Nielsen OTT, a panel-based report that can show marketers reach, frequency and GRP by demographics, as one workaround.

"The big advantage of CTV over linear TV is that it can be measured against other behaviors across devices, which leads to more interesting data points than reach, frequency and viewability," he said.

Given the immersive nature of CTV versus watching programs on a smartphone or laptop, brands should think about metrics like unique completion rates, suggested Chris LaHaise, director of TV solutions at Boston-based DSP Dataxu.

"There are no tabs to click away to, there's no multitasking going on," he said.

Same ads, over and over

The focused attention promised by CTV might be tested, though, if consumers find themselves seeing the same creative over and over again.

"We saw this exact issue when networks began offering content online and monetizing it with ad breaks within the content and around the content," said Jill Rosengard Hill, an executive VP at Magid. "Consumers were disturbed by the frequency of seeing the same sponsor and the same ad."

The frequency issue is being addressed in part through the Interactive Advertising Bureau's new standardized Identifier for Advertising (IFA), which allows for capping in the absence of cookies on CTV and equips brands with the opportunity to eliminate ad repetition and wasted inventory, James Grant Hay, founder and president of Sydney, Australia's Connected TV Marketing Association, said via email.

"The real-time, impression-based nature of CTV buys also allows for granular optimization against performance metrics," he wrote. "Frequency controls also allow brands to target their advertising more effectively through the traditional TV approach of contextual targeting by specific shows, genres and indicative audiences, through data targeting."

"My personal stance is that connected TV advertising is ushering in an almost new golden era of TV advertising. If you're stuck in just doing live linear TV on traditional networks, you're in trouble, and your business is going to get smaller."

Chris Peterson

Managing director, R2C Group

The onus is also on brands to think strategically about their media mix, said Natalee Geldert, director of media services and brand strategies at agency PMG. This could mean coordinating mass media like linear TV against key moments or seasons, while using CTV for more of an evergreen approach that takes advantage of its relatively lower cost. "Be more efficient," she recommends.

Despite the challenges, people like Chris Peterson, managing director at R2C Group, are optimistic about CTV's long-term potential and are already seeing healthy interest from clients who want to use it for specific campaigns to reach homebuyers or other consumers who might ignore — or have never heard of — the concept of "appointment television."

"My personal stance is that connected TV advertising is ushering in an almost new golden era of TV advertising," Peterson said. "If you're stuck in just doing live linear TV on traditional networks, you're in trouble, and your business is going to get smaller."

Article top image credit: Amazon

Bacardi promotes premium line in new short film directed by Michael B. Jordan

Featuring shots of aged rum barrels, people dancing and old family photographs, Bacardi's latest short film celebrates its Caribbean roots, telling the brand's story and educating drinkers about how its recently launched premium collection is crafted. The film taps popular actor and filmmaker Michael B. Jordan as one of the directors in a strategic move that could generate social media buzz beyond the reach of Bacardi's typical network.

Brands continue to embrace and experiment with original digital video as a way to connect with consumers in authentic ways and build loyalty. Bacardi is likely targeting millennials, who have shown a preference for spirits over beer, especially favoring rum. Video is also millennials' preferred and most memorable marketing format, and 85% say they've purchased a product or service after watching a brand's video, a Brightcove study found.

Bacardi released "The Angel's Share" in late December 2018, likely in an attempt to drive sales around the holidays, one of the key seasons for sales of spirits like rum. The digital short film was co-directed by Jordan and Emmy-nominated director Paul Hunter, according to a news release provided to Marketing Dive. It tells the story of the legacy of Bacardi, centering on "the angel's share," which refers to the liquid that evaporates during the rum's aging process, and how because Bacardi premium rum is aged under the Caribbean sun, more angel's share is lost than for other spirits. Conceptualized by Jordan and Hunter, the film follows three characters, including a Maestro de Ron, a bartender and Bacardi family member, to tell their version of the angel's share story.

The film and broader campaign was developed with BBDO New York and appears on digital channels and connected TV, YouTube and full-episode players. The effort also includes out-of-home displays in markets such as New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.

In an effort to capitalize on Jordan's social presence, vignettes are airing on Bacardi-owned social channels and Jordan's Instagram page. Jordan, who has 8.3 million Instagram followers, is one of the most popular celebrities, known for his roles in "Black Panther" and "Creed II." While celebrity endorsements aren't always the best way for brands to reach millennials, endorsements that combine celebrity recognition, authenticity, trustworthiness and brand match can be effective. As a self-described "rum guy" who has shared memories of his grandmother making rum cakes with Bacardi, Jordan appears to score high on these metrics.

Jordan has quickly become an in-demand talent for celebrity endorsements and brand collaborations. In 2018, he starred in a campaign for Brisk iced tea, a product offered by the PepsiCo and Unilever tea partnership, to help launch the brand's arts program. The Creators Class program joins industry leaders and emerging artists in urban areas for mentorship and collaboration. The brand also tapped Jordan to direct, produce and star in a video celebrating artists' "creative hustle," and offer creators the chance to win an apprenticeship with Jordan.

"The Angel's Share" video follows an energetic music- and dance-focused campaign that Bacardi released in May 2018 featuring the tagline "Do What Moves You." The campaign featured a 60-second clip starring professional dancers and a track by DJ group Major Lazer. Bacardi also teamed up with Major Lazer on an initiative called "Music Liberates Music," and tapped SoundCloud to extend the campaign.

Article top image credit: Bacardi

Forrester: Video ad spending will hit $103B by 2023

Recent research underscores how marketers continue to shift their digital marketing budgets toward video as viewership increases, with video ad spending expected to reach $103 billion by 2023, up from $91 billion in 2018, according to Forrester's Video Advertising Forecast provided to Marketing Dive.

The total share of video in ad spending will increase from 21% in 2018 to 34% in 2023. Online video viewers were expected to exceed 200 million in 2018, while TV audiences were forecast to reach 258 million. The study noted that while display video was expected to account for 82.7% of online video ad spending in 2018, the pace of growth for social video is fast, with a 20.8% compounded annual growth rate through 2023.

TV Everywhere is expected to grow from 89 million users in 2018 to 111 million in 2023, while virtual multichannel video programming distributor users will jump from 24.2 million in 2018 to 44.3 million in 2023.

The need to diversify spending toward video has been a long time coming as people grow accustomed to watching programming on their own time and on their preferred platforms and devices. Online video streaming is especially popular among younger consumers like Gen Z, as members of the generation report spending 4.2 hours per week streaming content, according to MNI Targeted Media. Gen Zers, more so than other generations, also don't mind seeing ads to learn about new products as long as the ads are relevant, per MNI's findings.

An openness to ads is in line with another key finding of Forrester's research, which shows that two-thirds of viewers don't mind watching video ads to access free content. Seventy-two percent of those polled said they'd rather watch shows on TV that contain ads immediately than wait for an ad-free version.

Ad-supported, free online video is booming, with nearly 194 million people watching in 2018. Marketers may want to jump in quickly to capture that audience, as Forrester predicts that consumers' tolerance for video ads will wane, while ad-free paid streaming will accelerate.

Forrester's findings additionally signal why marketers have been boosting their investments in channels like advanced TV. Fifty-eight percent of marketers are investing in over-the-top or connected TV, 44% in programmatic linear TV, 40% in addressable TV, 35% in data-enabled linear TV and 32% in set-top box VOD, according to a 2018 Advertiser Perceptions report.

However, Advertiser Perceptions also found that many marketers poorly blend their digital video and TV strategies: Just 53% of respondents plan the two strategies together, and only 40% buy bundles from multichannel providers.

Article top image credit: Facebook Business

6-second ads deliver big mobile viewership, but little emotional punch

Short-form six-second ads that have become more popular on social media and even broadcast TV get high marks for mobile viewership but pack little emotional punch, according to a study by media platform Teads and researcher Realeyes. Six-second ads have an average view-through rate (VTR) of 55% on mobile devices, but have an EmotionAll score of 3.6 compared to 5.1 for longer-form, 30-second ads.

Six-second ads present significant challenges for advertisers that have luxuriated for decades in 30-second commercials, as in traditional broadcast TV, but consumers' shift to mobile viewing has led to lower tolerance for longer-format videos. A younger generation of viewers has been trained to swipe past video ads to access desired content, pointing to why creative needs to instantly capture attention and tell a complete story in less time.

Candy maker Mars had two of the three best-performing six-second ads in the study. Six-second ads that expressed a quick, simple narrative performed better than videos with a complex story or those with no story, the study found.​ A higher emotional score correlated to a sales lift 75% of the time.

"The explosion of short form content caused by the emergence of mobile and erosion of consumer attention have changed the rules of the game," Sorin Patilinet, Mars' director of the Center of Expertise for Marketing Communications, said in a statement.

Brands cutting repurposed TV commercials for short-form video ads should try to capture the most engaging scenes to feature, Teads recommended. For the study, 166 examples of six-second creative from 75 brands were analyzed using facial coding software to measure the emotional reactions of viewers. Realeyes tabulates its EmotionAll Score by measuring the attraction, retention, engagement and impact of a video on viewers.

A story that's too complex to condense or a joke that requires significant setup are two cases where it's likely not appropriate for six-second ads, according to the study. Brands might consider keeping those narratives in a longer-form commercial, or using a display ad that's more descriptive and doesn't confuse viewers. In addition, brands should consider adding a call-to-action to their short ads to link viewers to additional content. Teads found that just 16% of the six-second ads in the study included a CTA.

The report is the latest sign of marketers' interest in short-form ads. Reese's, K9 Advantix​, Kellogg's Rice Krispies and Keebler were named top brands in YouTube's 2018 ad leaderboard for bumper ads, the platform's term for short video ads. Most of 2018's top ads were created specifically for the six-second ad format, while the 2017 leaderboard was comprised of longer ads that were later shortened. YouTube highlighted the effectiveness of the shorter ads in a study of 122 campaigns in the U.S. It found that 70% of the campaigns drove a significant lift in brand awareness, with an average gain of 9%. More than nine in 10 YouTube campaigns drove ad recall globally with an average lift of more than 30%, per a blog post by parent company Google, signaling that super-short ads can still be effective in rounding out a brand's content and communicating a marketing message.

Article top image credit: Carnival Corporation

85% of millennials have purchased a product after watching a video, study says

Marketers are increasingly looking to engage audiences with video content, but many wonder how consumers, especially millennials, interact with and are influenced by video. Brightcove's 2018 Video Marketing Survey offers some insights, including that 76% of consumers and 85% of millennials (ages 19-35), say they've purchased a product or service after watching a video about it.

The findings underscore how younger consumers are spending more time on their smartphones compared to older generations and consume more video content. Younger consumers may also not be as ad averse as older age groups and often don’t mind watching video ads from their favorite brands. Video was the most memorable form of content for 21% of consumers at large and 29% of millennials, according to Brightcove's survey conducted with market research firm YouGov. Video ranked higher than display ads at 13%, email marketing at 9%, case studies at 4% and text ads at 2%. Forty-five percent of all consumers and 56% of millennials find video more engaging than other formats. Video is the preferred form of brand and marketing communication for 36% of consumers overall and 46% of millennials.

A key takeaway from the research is that video can be more than a passive experience for consumers. For example, 53% of total consumers and 66% of millennials say they've engaged with a brand after watching a video on social media, with 20% saying they visited a brand's website and 20% conducting more research. Fifty-six percent of consumers enjoy seeing videos for personal electronics, 52% for household appliances, 48% for tools, 47% for software, 35% for clothing and makeup, and 27% for personal care.

To capitalize on consumer interest in video and engaging with brands, marketers should note that 45% of consumers overall and 57% of millennials say it's helpful when videos have a call-to-action so that they can engage directly with brands, according to Brightcove's research. Also, 35% of consumers and 41% of millennials say they'd like for videos to include links for them to easily access more brand information.

Marketers are likely to continue experimenting with different video formats and lengths to find the right mix to engage with consumers and drive sales. This is especially prevelant given that video ad spending is expected to grow from $91 billion in 2018 to $103 billion by 2023, with the total share of video ad spending increasing from 21% in 2018 to 34% in 2023, according to Forrester research.

Article top image credit: YouAppi Facebook