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Editorial Advisory Board

Is Online Video Living Up to the Hype?

1 Jun, 2009 By: Thomas Haire Response

Smith: I don't think producers are considering online video as a marketing tool yet. It is really just embedded in and used to support the E-commerce site. This is starting to change as more video inventory becomes available and better video technology (video in E-mails, etc.) is developed.

Stacey: Producers are aware that their material will be streamed online. Making short-form spots or self-contained infomercial calls-to-action can be extremely important. Highlighting the benefits early in a video clip and demonstrating the results are important as attention spans can be shorter online. Similarly, focusing on good images and product placement throughout the show is also important because the viewing window is much smaller.

Yallen: Almost all DR spots now include a hyperlink within all copy. With the online analytical data, you are able to know if a campaign is working in real-time. You can adjust and optimize copy at a rate unheard of in general or even DRTV media. Production choices in the online medium are virtually limitless. You can produce a full HD video to a viral option that looks as it was made in your basement.

How do the different lengths available in the online video world affect production on a campaign?

Fays: At Viacom, often the longer the length, the more difficulty getting the campaign kicked off. My suggestion has been to start with shorter creative in order to get one's foot in the door, and we can roll out longer spots to cement in the brand later on.

Garnett: This is a tricky issue. The Web gives you the opportunity to separate longer works into consumable chunks (two to five minutes). On the other hand, a long-form show has been carefully crafted so that ideas build on each other. Random viewing on the Web can undo all the great salesmanship we've put into a long-form show. We're working with tricks and tweaks to provide the opportunity for viewing short segments on the Web, where there is opportunity to expand on extra features or the offer as needed. For a short-form campaign, the Web provides an excellent opportunity to deliver extra footage that supplements the original ad and provides more information and content to a captive audience.

Hawthorne: We have not yet created video clips longer than about three minutes for online viewing, but it certainly is possible to engage the consumer with longer format Web videos in the appropriate scenario. One excellent strategic approach, for a client that prefers to utilize short-form advertising, is to use the spot to direct the TV viewer to the Web site for additional messages via longer video segments. This is a type of opt-in, online infomercial, and could be an effective answer for some to the high costs of TV production and media time.

Lee: There are different aspects depending if you are in the long-form or short-form business. If you are in long form, a marketer needs to incorporate its marketing message into a one-, three- or five-minute marketing tool, which can be a drawback to some. I see it as an excellent branding tool for both long- and short-form marketers.

Medico: Most Internet video ads are 15 seconds or less. This includes ads before or after programming or rich-media banners. Presently, longer ad units will have a difficult time online.

Murray: Consumers are being pulled in many directions, and their attention spans are limited. So, just like any other campaign medium, marketers must get consumers' attention and get them moving along the purchase continuum. A long video is not likely to do that. It is nice, however, not to be constrained to 30- or 60-second bits.

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