Ashwini Gangal
Digital

Can video advertising deliver on its promise?

A panel of experts discussed this at Digipub World.

When it comes to online video advertising, do the revenues justify the costs? That's debatable. In the context of video ads, while on TV the maths works out perfectly, in the big bad world of digital the costs and revenues don't quite add up.

Can video advertising deliver on its promise?

The panel
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A panel of experts discussed the subject of video advertising at Digipub World. Edited excerpts of their points of view, as expressed during the first half of the session.

Ajay Chacko, co-founder and chief executive officer, Arré

Can video advertising deliver on its promise?

Ajay ChackoIf you're referring to pure play inventory advertising, it really doesn't add up. It'll be a while before it adds up. Broadly, there are two things that are changing this: Firstly, in India, ad avoidance and use of ad blockers is high. Secondly, audiences are moving to slightly more premium, high value, long-form entertainment content. We're seeing a (growing) need to integrate brands into the story itself... real native (advertising) is happening in video. So that's the big hope for us. As far as inventory-based stuff goes, it'll be a while before Google and Facebook differentiate between UGC (user-generated content) and premium content; that layer has to come in. Till then, branded content is the way to go.

Video advertising as we know it on digital, is actually TV advertising transplanted into a 30 or 15-seconder as a pre-roll or mid-roll. YouTube has been really successful in milking it; YouTube makes as much or more money than the top GEC in the country right now... purely because these are spill-over commercials made for TV, that are now being put onto digital. The bulk of video advertising is still pretty much the TVC that's doing the rounds (online). There's no original thinking as far as digital video advertising, at scale, is concerned.

Another missing link right now is - measurability across platforms... is there a unit currency of content and advertising, across platforms?

Sattvik Mishra, co-founder, ScoopWhoop

Can video advertising deliver on its promise?

Sattvik MishraA large chunk of our audience is between the age group of 16 and 25 years. These are the guys who moved away from television. You give them a display ad on a website - they will never click on it. You give them a pre-roll on YouTube - they will skip through it. So what's the right way to get to this guy? That's where native advertising, especially in video format, is truly wonderful. Making the ad an integral part of the story-telling is the only format that complements content consumption and doesn't interrupt it. It's that simple.

The onus is on content creators to create better (video) content. As long as there's great content, you'll always find advertisers, both from an inventory selling and content integration point of view. The problem (with the latter) is that no one's measuring the impact of branded content. We're all peddling vanity metrics to brands. The answer that we as publishers have to provide to advertisers is - How do we measure the impact of branded campaigns/content? We need to create 10-15 metrics that resemble traditional forms of (measurement).

Sidharth Shukla, vice president and head of office, OgilvyOne, North

Can video advertising deliver on its promise?

Sidharth ShuklaThe only submission I have on this question is about relevancy. As an industry, we typically tend to start running away with things. The banner never failed us; we failed the banner... miserably. We abused it. I just hope that doesn't happen with video advertising as well. About the brand story being there - it is important. Have brands understood that? I think we're still in the process of evolving.

What we also need to do - which we didn't do with the banner - is to have a very clear line of sight in terms of what metrics we want to use to measure... else, we'll just jump from one metric to the other and get blinded; the aspect of an emotive connect then stays on the back-foot. The biggest question is - what is it (video advertising) doing for the brand? Marketers will see worth in it when we can answer that question. That question is being answered by a lot of different people in a lot of different ways. There's no unified set which will measure it. The minute we have that, the grouse will go away to some degree.

We need to start tracking some of this stuff from a brand value perspective, on digital. Are we affecting scores along the lines of traditional values like aided recall, for instance?

Akash Tyagi, industry specialist, Media and Entertainment, Adobe

Can video advertising deliver on its promise?

Akash TyagiVideo has primarily been a traditional brand marketing medium so far...

One key thing we have to understand is - people are consuming (online) video. 2017 is the year we'll see 70 per cent of the overall internet consumption happening only on video. Video is going to be the medium where you will earn money, where you'll have that loyal audience base watching different types of content, whether it's short-form content on Facebook/Google or different websites/web publishers, or long-form content that will be 'binge watched' on Hotstar or Netflix.

From an ad dollar perspective what we, as a technology firm, see missing is - advertisers are demanding more transparency and more effectiveness. They're looking for more audience-driven ways of marketing rather than the old CPM and CTR-based methods of spending millions of dollars... A big shift is taking place, globally, including Google and Facebook, that are providing ad technologies, from a video perspective, (in order to) enable measurement. In video, 70-80 per cent of the (ad) dollars are still flowing to Google and Facebook, because the consumption is there...

Unfortunately, for a very long time, video advertising technology has not really scaled up the way display and search has....It's extremely important to make sure the right ad is integrated with the content, in an immersive way.