Five Trends That Will Define Branded Video In 2014

Branded video reached new heights in 2013. More than 38% of new campaigns achieved more than 1 million views in 2013, compared with 26% in the year prior. And 5% of campaigns reached more than 10 million views, compared to 3% the year before.

In 2012, brands saw campaigns like Red Bull’s “Stratos,” Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012,” and Rovio’s “Angry Birds Space” become mega viral hits. The result of that success was that brands began to see producing quality content – not just ads – as an important weapon in their marketing arsenals.

So in 2013, the name of their game was perfecting the brand story. And in this regard, many brands succeeded this year. Brands were able to drive big views consistently throughout the year.

The biggest campaign of 2013, “Real Beauty Sketches,” came from video veteran Dove. This emotional campaign questions women’s self-image with the help of a trained FBI sketch artist. While the short film met with a warm reception, for the most part, some critics felt that the ad patronized women. But that debate didn’t hurt the brand; the media coverage that ensued only helped to lengthen the life of the video and drive views up to more than 136.2 million views.

Other brands that hit it big included Volvo Trucks, which emerged from obscurity with “Live Test” starring Jean Claude Van Damme. Pepsi MAX pulled off a stunt in “Gordon Test Drive,” and Internet Explorer called on our nostalgia with “Child of the ‘90s.”

So what does 2014 hold for branded video? Based on the successes of 2013, here are five trends that I think will flourish in the coming year:

  • Longer-form, cinematic content: The draw of branded video is the freedom it gives brands to tell their stories outside of the 30-second TV spot. So videos like True MoveH’s “Giving,” were longer and more cinematic.
  • Stoking the debate: Some of the biggest video stories in the 2013 came from brands that incited debate. Cheerios, for example, achieved its biggest success to date with “Just Checking,” which opened a long debate about interracial families and their portrayal in the media late last year. Did they mean to start the debate? Probably not, but it did keep their brand in headlines for weeks.
  • More interactivity: Old Spice produced one of the most viral interactive campaigns with 2010’s “Responses.” It produced another in 2012 with “Muscle Music,” which allowed viewers to create their own music inside of a video. And last year Intel and Toshiba released its third social film, “The Power Inside,” which allowed viewers to shape the campaign’s story through social media. Interactive campaigns like these only work when viewers actually engage with them. As the video universe gets more crowded, brands will be looking for unique ways to attract and engage viewers, and interactivity is a great way to do both.
  • Real-time campaigns: At last year’s Super Bowl, Oreo became the poster child for real-time marketing with its half-time tweet, while Coca Cola’s campaign changed based on the score of the game. Both brands had good feedback from their campaigns, which seemed more relevant because of how timely they were.
  • Encouraging user-generated content: Some of the most successful campaigns of the last year benefited from user-generated content. Volvo Trucks’ “Live Test” generated more than 30 million of its more than 111 million views from user-generated content – spoofs, mashups, copies, responses, etc. Besides showing how engaged viewers are with a brand’s campaign, user-generated content that takes off can extend the life of a campaign.

These trends – and the more cinematic, provocative, imaginative, and engaging campaigns that they produce – will lead to one thing: views skyrocketing higher than ever before. As we have seen every year for the past five years, overall views in 2014 will surpass 2013, as brands continue to break new ground and perfect their video storytelling and strategies. If you are looking for advice in producing effective video marketing campaign’s then please get in touch with our team atbespokevideoproduction.com.

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Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

As part of YuMe’s research, Insights from Multi-Screen Research Millennials: Distinct in Video Consumption, in partnership with IPG Media Lab, they looked at video advertising, its effects on Millennials and topics like distraction due to multi-tasking, time-shifted TV content and other factors. Below we focus on a few founding’s;

Video Consumption And App Usage

The other way to watch video which is covered in the research is streaming it from a webpage. With technologies like VAST and HTML5 video advertising can now be delivered to the majority of mobile devices. Depending on the operating system, some viewers may be able to multi-task while the ad plays, which offers a lower percentage chance that the viewer will see the ad. As far as I can see, the video app is the way to go whenever feasible. Also, it’s the most commonly used way to watch videos by Millennials and Generation X on smartphones and by them and Baby Boomers on tablets.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Multi-Tasking Impacts Video Advertising Effectiveness

This becomes even more important when you take into account the fact that a large majority of all three generations multi-task when watching a video. The difference is the fact that the Millennials do it with other connected devices. Even 80% of Baby Boomers said they multi-task while watching video. I too am guilty of that, in fact I’ve been on my laptop and iPad at the same time as watching something on the DVR. Hey, I have a lot of things to get done some days!

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

A full 13% more of them multi-task on various connected devices than Generation X, 23% more than Baby Boomers. Then again, I think the Boomers weren’t brought up that way while the Gen X’ers at least had home computers and game consoles which might account for some of the multi-task mentality.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

As for the Millennials, they were all practically born with a phone in their hands and many have better smartphones than I do. But the real information in all this comes when you take into account what that multi-tasking does in regards to video advertising.

As YuMe’s research found out, it lowers ad recall. Now it’s not all that severe in that it only lowered it 2-9% via smartphones, tablet apps and tablet browsers. Then again, Millennials weren’t all that great at unaided ad recall from TV or the PC anyway compared to Gen X’ers, so it is in line with expectations on the other platforms. As the chart below shows, smartphone video ads had the highest unaided ad recall. Does that translate into effectiveness? I suppose so, if you’re just going for recall and that can then translate into brand awareness overall later.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Video Ad Impact on Millennials

Now, here’s a prime piece of information from the research. If you want Millennials to think that your brand is in fact “modern” then you should be targeting them with video advertising on smartphones. That combination showed the highest agreement in believing that the ad shown was from a “modern brand.” Of course, it was still only 6.7%, tablet browser video ads came in at 5.3% and everything else was under 4%. I suppose that’s technically almost 100% more effective than video advertising on TV or PC.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Interestingly, video ads on smartphones also scored highly with Millennials and Gen X’ers on the belief that it was from a “brand on its way up.” But only 1.1% of Gen X thought it was a modern brand. Gen X had a negative response in regards to whether the brand was quality, premium or a brand they respected. Almost as if, your video ad incited vitriol in their brain and they suddenly didn’t like the brand at all. How positively fascinating! I wonder if that is due to many Gen X’ers remembering the days before massive online video ad loads and yearn for those nearly ad-free days again, whereas the Millennials have pretty much grown up with more and more video advertising online. There’s something here I think that could be more specifically delved into and might offer some extremely interesting research that could translate into how to better target Gen X with video advertising (I suspect the answer will be “with much, much less of it”). It could also be the fact that Gen X simply things video ads are blasé

.Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Meanwhile, the Millennials still had positive reactions to those questions, however, the “brand I respect” was quite low, at just 1.7%, whether it was a quality brand did quite well, relatively speaking, with 3.7%.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Millennials are Dropping Old School Video Platform

Television is old school to the Millennials, who have had the highest drop off rate for TV usage over the past three years according to the study.  Of any demographic, Millennial women are dropping the most TV usage, 10% less since 2010, topping even Millennial males who dropped TV usage 7% since 2010. In this graph you can see they are pointing to the 18-24-year-old group (born in 1989-2000), a slightly narrower definition of Millennials.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

This means that traditional TV advertising is not reaching them like it used to and this trend will probably continue in a downward way making it less and less effective for this major demographic. They are watching some time-shifted television shows, as you can see below, via a DVR and most likely online as well.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

The Millennials use their smartphone and tablets more than any other demographic on the chart and are practically the anti-thesis of the 65+ group who uses TV the most and mobile devices the least. A more interesting trend might be the total lack of DVR usage by the younger 18-24-year-old demographic. Growing up in the full on video streaming age seems to have made them TV and DVR averse. Important information if you’re looking to target them now, or in the near future.

Video Content Viewing by Type

It is also interesting to note that the Millennials also said they watch a lot of TV shows, and user-generated content. That might help explain the fact that Netflix and YouTube account for 50% of all peak period Internet traffic in North America. What they don’t watch, is news, with only 13% saying they watch it. Speaks volumes to the future of the country.

The content they do watch is, again, mostly on three screens; PC, smartphone, and tablet. 49% reported watching ‘web videos’ on smartphones, 44% said PC and 44% said tablet, when given the option of picking two options (presumably TV and DVR were in there as well).

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

Where Millennials Watch Video

Where they watch the content is also interesting. The three major demographics, Millenials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, all ranked in the high 90’s percentage-wise in terms of watching at home. However, over 50% of Millenials said they are likely to watch content “at a friend’s or significant other’s home” a full 20-30% more than the others. While commuting 32% of Millenials said they watch content (5-10% more than the others) showing they they are either, hopefully, car pooling, or using public transportation.

Good news for retailers though, 13% reported they are likely to watch video, “in a store,” which could prove useful for the upcoming holiday shopping season. Compare that to 8% of Gen X’ers and 3% of Boomers. Clearly, that in store video marketing, or online product video marketing, is going to be seen by the Millenials.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

Where to Watch Video on Smartphones and Tablets

YuMe also reported on smartphone and tablet usage in each of those locations as well. At home ranked in the 98-100% range with Millennials, at a friend’s pulled 58% and 49% respectively. Smartphones are on the rise everywhere though which might be indicative of bigger screens, better resolutions and faster mobile data networks. In the retail space, 19% said they’d use their phone and 6% said they’d use a tablet. However, when they leave the store and go eat or drink at a bar or restaurant those numbers skew higher with 26% saying they would use a smartphone and 14% a tablet.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

So perhaps some cross-promotional streaming video targeting is in order between retailers and restaurants, especially to those trying to target the Millennials.

To App, Stream or Download?

This is the last section of the YuMe report that I’m going to look at in this article so I can devote an entire article to the video advertising aspect of it. There’s nothing groundbreaking here in terms of results in that the highest percentage of each demographic said they use an app to get their video content. That’s closely followed by streaming it straight from the web. Downloading to a device ranked last with under half of all demographics saying they do that.

The key information here is that if you’ve got video on the web and you want to target the Millennials, you need to make sure you’ve got an app for that, or that it can stream to all the mobile platforms, both tablet and smartphone. Android, iOS and Windows phones and tablets are probably going to nail the majority of them. I don’t see too many using a Blackberry device or anything too outside the major operating systems.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

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Video Ad Spend Up, Display And TV Ad Budgets Suffer [Report]

The amount of money spent on video advertising is on the rise, with 65% of brands surveyed in a new report confirming an increase in budgets compared to this time last year. Marketing agencies are spending up to 83% more on their video advertising campaigns. In the new Q4 State of the Video Industry study from Adapt.tv and Digiday, 9 out of 10 brand and agency side participants confirmed that they planned to increase video ad spending even further in 2014, pulling the extra budget from other areas such as offline advertising and broadcast TV advertising.

State Of The Video Industry Report: Main Points

  • 31% of brands said they would pull campaign funds from broadcast TV advertising to invest video advertising, up from 19% last year
  • 10% of brands confirmed that they would divert funds away from cable advertising, down from 13% last year.
  • 30% of participants confirmed that they would consider moving their marketing budget away from display advertising into video advertising.
  • 26% will decrease their search budgets in favour of paid video ads, a significant increase from the previous 3%
  • 43% of brands are purchasing mobile video today, as are 7 out of 10 agencies
  • 70% of marketing agencies and 65% of brands want clearer measurements so they can compare the effectiveness of online, cable and TV advertising.

Video Ad Spend Up, Display And TV Ad Budgets Suffer [Report]

In 2012, 58% of agencies and brands borrowed from their broadcast budgets to fund at least some video advertising spend. 45% confirmed they had pulled 1-10% of their broadcast dollars for video, 9% drew 11-20% of their available budget, and 4% more than 20%.

Video Ad Spend Up, Display And TV Ad Budgets Suffer [Report]

75% of brands confirmed that they will buy their video ad inventory from an ad network, up from 61% in 2011, but there’s a 10% drop in purchasing directly from a publisher with only 68% confirming that this is to be their preferred choice. For agencies, 85% are just as likely to buy from a publisher as they are from a video ad network.

Both agencies (28%) and brands (34%)are more likely to buy from an exchange, with 21% of brands and 36% of agencies confirm they will purchase from a Demand Side Platform.

You can see the full report from Digiday and Adap.TV here:

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Going Native: How Marketers Are Reinventing the Online Video Advertising Experience

An interesting new rapport from Forbes, about “native advertising”

Summary: Over the past decade, content marketing, specifically in the form of online video, has become a fundamental tool for connecting with consumers. Native video, a more recent phenomenon that meshes in appearance—if not substance—with the overall feel of a publisher’s website, is achieving even greater viewer engagement.

“Native advertising” has emerged as the convergence between original brand video content and dramatically new approaches to distribution that ensure an ad matches the look and feel of a website and does not interrupt the viewing experience in the manner of a television commercial. While the term “native” ads has not fully caught on with marketing executives, the core elements of native ad types are favored by them, which suggests this market will grow as awareness increases. For this study, Forbes Insights, in association with Sharethrough, a native video advertising platform company, surveyed 136 marketing executives. Forty-six were from companies with revenues between $500 million and $1 billion, and the rest were from companies with at least $1 billion in revenue. The vast majority (99%) were located in the U.S.