Storytelling is becoming more important in the rapidly changing digital landscape

Imagine telling a writer that pictures are how we’ll communicate in the future. Andrew Delaney, global director of creative content, Getty Images, has a vested interest in visual communication but he’s probably going to be right for a while (writers, be grateful that “the only constant is change”.)

“Visual content has always been a key element in the art of brand storytelling and is becoming more important in the rapidly changing digital landscape,” Delaney recalled, “If you think of the way that human communication has evolved, we’ve gone from writing long letters for air mail to email to instant messages to tweets. This suggests that the speed of communication has become more important than the depth of communication.”

We seem to always end up attaching pictures to messages. Instagram grew from nought to 100 million users in its first two years (2010 – 2012). On April 12, 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for US$1 billion in cash and stock. “…Images and video content are growing in popularity – because a video is able to communicate message rich content faster than it takes to read a 140 character tweet.

Digital has not only changed how images are created, it has changed how accessible they are. Millions, rather than thousands, of images are created weekly now. Professional photographers siphon volumes of these off to stock image companies now. And more recently, stock images are in the form of videos. Because increasingly, video is the vehicle in which communications are carried.

“The rise of video is nothing new to advertisers and marketers. In fact we at Getty Images have been accommodating this gradual shift towards video for over 15 years because we have seen the way that technology is enabling content creators to capture content more easily and bring it to market quicker than ever before.

“This trend is driven by the continual consumption of visual content from existing technologies like cinema and TV, which have made audiences very visually very cognisant and fluent in a standardized visual language. Because of this, we have become very discerning about video. ”

“The need for video will rise exponentially as more advertisers begin to understand how video can help hook an audience quicker and for longer. The uptake of smartphones and proliferation of crowd-sourced content means that imagery is no longer defined by whether it is professionally produced or not; it’s about having a view point and connecting customers to a message that will affect them. ”

Getty’s partnership with Vimeo suggests that both companies consider that moving image will be useful to brands and businesses for a long time yet.

Getty’s main competitor Shutterstock also continues to grow. Latest figures show revenue for the third quarter was $59.6 million, a 41% increase as compared to $42.3 million in the third quarter of 2012. The company expands overseas, opening a European headquarters in Berlin, and driving image downloads to an all-time high of more than 25 million during the quarter,” said Founder and CEO Jon Oringer. “To meet these increasing demands for imagery, we’re adding thousands of high-quality images every day, offering more than 30 million in the collection.”

Fourth Quarter 2013; Revenue of $64 – $66 million. Full Year 2014; Revenue of $300 – $305 million, Adjusted EBITDA of $68 – $70 million.

Bespoke video production and our premium stock video brand ReeldealHD is a contributor to both Getty and Shutterstock with over 6000 HD clips.
We can also help you with a storytelling campaign with our bespoke video production services.


Video Ad Spending: Moving From TV To Online

Video is the fastest-growing digital ad format according to eMarketer. US digital video ad spend is expected to rise by 41.4% this year and by nearly 40% next year as well, when outlays will reach $5.7 billion.

Findings from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) show that much of that increased digital video spending will come out of former TV budgets. Seventy percent of buy-side US senior executives told the IAB they would likely move TV dollars to digital video in the coming year. An even greater 75% of all US senior executives surveyed said the same, suggesting there is significant excitement around digital video from all corners. However, those on the buy side may be slightly more realistic about how budgets will really move.

As to which digital video ad formats would likely see the biggest bumps in investment, an April 2013 study from Be On, a division of AOL, found that 73% of marketers polled worldwide expected to increase spending on pre-roll ads over the next 12 months. Social video ads came in second, at 53% of respondents.

Putting dollars to digital video, though, does not have to mean leaving TV behind, and there are increasing opportunities for cross-platform ad campaigns, something marketers seem particularly excited about.

According to the IAB, nearly two-thirds of respondents who had previously launched cross-platform ad buys seemed happy enough with their results that they said they would increase their budget for combined TV and digital video buys going forward.

Five Reasons Advertisers Should Adopt Interactive Pre-roll

A recent study, conducted by in-stream advertising specialist AdoTube, measured 9,500 digital brand campaigns and nearly 13.5 billion impressions over a period of three years. In their study, they found that while pre-roll video ads drive the highest completion rate, both the viewers and advertisers have stronger experiences with interactive pre-rolls globally.

Five Reasons Advertisers Should Adopt Interactive Pre roll

Today, pre-rolls have been transformed to offer interactive functionality that enables customized advertising experiences to deliver higher acquisition, conversion and retention rates compared with traditional online advertising.

Here are five reasons why interactive pre-rolls (Polite Pre-Roll, Ad Selectors, and In-Stream Takeovers) are redefining what video can achieve and why advertisers should continue to adopt these units:

1. Interactive and willing viewership

An average of 69.2% of users actively engages with interactive pre-roll by clicking through, watching the whole video or dismissing the units. But the word “dismiss” is not often a beloved term in digital advertising. However, though initially unintuitive, the study discovered that including the dismiss button can actually reduce page abandonment by as much as eight percent.

When the Polite Pre-Roll®, an interactive pre-roll, was introduced in 2009, it revolutionized online advertising by giving viewers the option to continue watching or to dismiss an ad after five seconds. That simple element of control, or enabling users to dismiss the ad, has had profound implications on the way consumers around the world experience and perceive advertising.

Other forms of this creative launched around the same time, such as TrueView. However, AdoTube’s format has proven to be most successful, with 11% dismiss rates, much lower compared to TrueView’s 55% to 85% rates.

Discovering that the “dismiss” option yields higher retention rates is significant. Although the psychology behind this phenomenon is complex, it is easily expressed; the more people feel they can control the experience, the more likely they are to watch it. This is contrary to how most advertisers think; they are afraid to give users the power to opt out of their ad.

If a user chooses to dismiss the interactive pre-roll, they are provided with an opportunity to re-engage with the ad or visit the brand’s website at their own convenience. This is relatively non-intrusive, yet very effective, for allowing interaction when the user is ready, or in the purchase mindset, to view the video.

2. Global support and growth of brands

As technology continues to evolve alongside the growth of global brands, enforcing message continuity from country to country can be a challenging – and costly – undertaking. To meet this need, interactive pre-roll allows for the same assets to be adjusted for different regions and are made easily updateable to tailor to each audience. This provides advertisers with a flexible, resourceful and global-centric campaign that maintains a consistent message despite differing geographies.

Global adoption of interactive pre-roll proves effective in numerous markets. In a recent study conducted by AdoTube, the highest interaction rates were found in Russia at 8.6 percent, followed by 8 percent in Southeast Asia, 6.5 percent in Middle East, and 5.6 percent in India. The more mature markets (i.e. Australia, Canada, UK, & US) also saw stronger performance. More specifically, Canada has shown strong, consistent growth for in-stream video quarter over quarter, and ran twice as many campaigns in Q4 2012 vs Q3 2012.

Also, to note – Q4 proved to be the most active across all global markets for online video, an indicator of continued growth for the sector.

Five Reasons Advertisers Should Adopt Interactive Pre roll

Global adoption of interactive pre-roll proves effective in numerous markets.

3. Delivers more qualified views and clear call-to-actions

Compared to standard pre-roll, interactive pre-roll boasts higher engagement rates, therefore driving its users to be more likely to retain the information or respond to the call-to-action feature. For example, in a recent “Just for Men Autostop” campaign that included both interactive and standard pre-roll, interactive pre-roll exceeded success metrics in comparison to its counterpart. The interactive video delivered 10% higher engagement rates, lifted brand awareness 2X more effectively and achieved 42% higher brand favorability than the standard pre-roll unit. This makes sense, since the user can view, read, and hear the message throughout the ad spot using an interactive unit. In contrast, a standard pre-roll invites the user to be engaged only when the brand message is explicitly delivered – usually in the last 2-5 seconds of a spot.

Five Reasons Advertisers Should Adopt Interactive Pre roll
Furthermore, with interactive pre-roll, the user is self-electing to consume the brand messaging, resulting in a greater probability that they will engage with the call-to-actions – which, in interactive pre-roll, are more aesthetically and seamlessly presented than a standard pre-roll unit. Overall, these features foster positive user experiences, generating a “stickiness” that increases brand recall.

4. Complements programmatic ad buying

With programmatic marketing, advertisers combine data with real-time systems to essentially automate the delivery of targeted ads. The value is not only being able to target consumers with precision, but to do so quickly, in a way that allows the advertisers to adjust a campaign if it isn’t delivering. To complement this demand-side strategy, interactive pre-rolls are also flexible, providing advertisers to quickly change their messages or call-to-actions to meet campaign targets. In contrast, the process to adjust a standard pre-roll, or to re-produce its spot, is simply too slow, inefficient and costly. In this instance, standard pre-roll fails to keep up with the automatic processes of programmatic buying.

This is extremely important in a progressively multi-screened world where brands are trying to maximize their advertising between TV and digital video devices (computers, mobile, and tablets). These mediums should complement each other. In order for that to happen, advertisers need customizable, nimble, and intelligent ads that are engaging across device.

5. Boosts evolution of creative technology and intelligence across screens

It is important to note that interactive pre-rolls have also evolved from giving viewers the option to dismiss ads to a true user-directed experience. Let’s take a look at AdoTube’s Ad Selector, the functionality that allows advertisers to feature multiple videos, giving users the choice of which video to watch and when. This allows an advertising conglomerate to feature several products or promotions of a particular brand, or even multiple brands of the same conglomerate, and see which user is attracted to which ad the most.

After conducting this same experience with numerous control groups, the advertiser is given ample, invaluable insight into the “who, what, where and why” of their consumer base – which audiences were most drawn to their product, specific product preferences, and when and where the message was delivered to capture attention. Advertisers can then leverage this data to drive strategy across all mediums that is most relevant for their audience.

Many companies are taking advantage of new developments in in-stream video, but not all pre-rolls are created equal. Interactive pre-rolls return the control to the consumer, while still providing brands with the data needed to drive intelligent advertising and the flexibility to adapt to multiple screens, global demands and campaign changes. These units are a win-win for the advertiser and the consumer, and will continue driving the evolution of the video industry.

Currently we are working on an exiting new product, the development of 15 and 30 sec, pre and post roll commercials as part of our stock library ReeldealdHD offering. These “Directors Cut” commercials are the easy and affordable solution for SME advertisers. Stay tuned for more exiting news on this soon, in the mean time if you would require a pre- or post roll commercial please get in touch:

Pre-Roll Video Ad Prices lower due to Increase in Inventory

Traditional TV costs per thousand may still be climbing — but that isn’t the case for digital pre-roll video ads, in part due to increased inventory.

Current pre-roll video advertising — perhaps the biggest piece of the digital video category — is down slightly at $8.18 CPMs from an $8.83 CPM during the first half of 2012, reports real-time video ad platform TubeMogul. The dip occurs when inflation has been bumping along at 2.5% per month.

Most of that is due to heavy inventory, says the company.

The number of daily pre-roll video ads available for real-time buying averaged 331 million ads available per day in October. There has been a monthly inventory growth rate of 7.3% in 2012, says TubeMogul.

Digital video completion rates — an increasingly important measure for digital advertisers — continue to grow with certain formats. Top-level (tier one) sites have the higher competition rates for 15-second commercials. In the third quarter of this year, nearly 85% of viewers now watch an entire ad on top sites. This is up from nearly 82% for the first half of the year.

Research also reveals that watching a completed video means better recall and brand association. There is a 20% rate of message association for those who watch a completed message, versus 8.3% for those who don’t watch a completed video message. General awareness has improved to 6.9% from 3.5%.