Making or Breaking the Video Ad Experience

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By April Terry, Media Planner

Digital video advertising is here to stay. With emphasis on cross-screen television executions at this year’s upfronts, digital video helps bridge a brand’s message across devices. Brands understand the importance of digital video ads, but the experience can be spotty — seamless in some cases, and rough in others. For a great digital video ad experience, brands should produce high-quality, engaging content, and use an optimal tagging method that allows the ad to serve without buffering or skipping. Less-than-stellar video ad experiences usually suffer a disconnect between the objective and creative execution. They are low quality or offensive and are bogged down with tags, causing them to buffer or freeze.


Brands want consumers to view all if not most of their digital video ads. After all, they cost thousands of dollars to produce and serve. Poor-quality videos are less likely to be viewed to completion. Digital video ads that are boring and fail to engage the consumer don’t do brands any justice. Not only should the ad be interesting, but it also should be well produced. The talent should be a natural fit. Other production elements, such as lighting and sound, should be appropriate and shouldn’t distract the consumer from receiving the intended message. 

Advertisers must face this truth: Consumers don’t pursue digital video ads, but from a brand’s perspective, digital video ads can be a great brand awareness tool when approached strategically. Consumers are trying to upload their intended website, not be slowed down by the Internet’s speed bump — digital video ads. It is our job to serve digital video ads that are at least palatable, and preferably enjoyable. Yes, an ad isn’t what anyone seeks on the web, but video advertisements do have their advantages. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text! Tagging, which is necessary for measurement, can slow video ads tremendously. At the very least, brands must find a way to tag the video without causing it to buffer every few seconds. You can almost guarantee that if the digital video ad is buffering frequently, the consumer will click the close button faster than you can blink.   

The best digital video ad experiences have a clear connection between the campaign objectives, creative and media execution strategy. They leave the consumer with a concise on-brand message. Model digital video ad experiences will leave the consumer curious enough to engage with the brand. Lastly, for crying out loud, they better not skip, freeze or buffer!

We know you don’t want to be subjected to digital video ads, but here’s to hoping the experience continues to improve, because this form of advertising isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future.