Is Online Video Living Up to the Hype?1 Jun, 2009 By: Thomas Haire Response
Anthony Medico, E+M Advertising: Right now, I don't believe it is crucial at all. The majority of online video content being viewed on the Internet today is short clips of either user-generated content or clips on news sites. Most of these clips are accompanied by a "pre-roll" advertisement and are limited to either a 15- or 30-second unit. This way of using advertising in online video has not been effective to date because of the user's short window of viewing time and the restriction in commercial unit length. As Internet viewing habits change, DR advertising might become effective. Once people start to view full-length shows and movies, where the commercial can be placed within content, the response to these ads will change.
Ken Murray, J.G. Wentworth: Video can be incredibly engaging and, for that reason alone, it is — if done well — a critical component to supplement DR. The "Susan Boyle Phenomenon" is a classic DR example in a way. The product (her performance) was pitched, and tens of millions of potential "customers" flocked online to see her and other "Britain's Got Talent" performers — and now everyone knows who she is. This obviously would be impossible in a non-video age. In a more classic DR sense, online video can truly make products and services come to life, by having consumers identify with the problem-solution dynamic a provider offers. The biggest challenge is getting their attention and stimulating them to go online!
Ronald Pruett, Mercury Media Holdings: I'd say it's on the horizon as far as driving volume of leads is concerned, but it serves as an important foundation for what will happen. We've used YouTube and similar video sites with specific calls-to-action in order to monitor response. The quality responder is getting there, but, in the short term, mass volumes of leads will not be.
Richard Stacey, Northern Response Intl. Ltd.: Online video has become crucial to converting a Web site visitor into a buyer. Once a customer lands on the page, they are now able to see the product demonstrated and to hear its core benefits. This reduces the hesitation to buy. Online video can increase conversion rates up to 60 percent in some cases. Online video also helps to reinforce the message and the brand through visualization.
Robert B. Yallen, Inter/Media Group: Direct response utilizing online video advertising is a good way to compliment television and radio campaigns, because it allows you to spend more time with the consumer. Direct response advertisers strive to generate sales, leads, coupon downloads, or Web site visits. Further, online video is an effective way to enhance traditional television and radio buys. However, one caveat: marketers have to be careful not to rely solely on an online video component, as this could be an impediment to impulse sales.
What are the three biggest benefits in utilizing online video to supplement a DR campaign?
Shannon Smith, E+M Advertising:
1. Reinforces customer recognition of a product already seen on TV
2. Offers more powerful presentation of product features that is lost in text on a Web page
3. Strong pitchman to bring "life" and urgency to the Web page/transaction
Fays: Engaging a different type of consumer; potentially advantageous pricing; and an infinite amount of innovation concepts for the advertiser that are not available in traditional DR space.