Peek of the Week – The Top 20 Most Shared Online Video Ads For June 2014

World Cup ads predictably dominate this month’s Unruly Global Ads Chart. With the biggest sporting event on the planet in full swing, it’s no surprise to see almost half of the top 20 video ads of the month are football-related. Just like last month, Colombian pop princess Shakira’s collaboration with yoghurt brand Activia “La La La” leads the way. Dubbed the ‘unofficial World Cup theme song’, it attracted a mammoth 2.72 million shares during June, making it not only the most shared football ad of the year, but also the sixth most shared ad of all time.

Brands unaffiliated with this year’s World Cup have certainly dominated this year’s World Cup. Despite creating half as many videos as FIFA-affiliated advertisers, commercials from non-sponsors have so far generated almost three-quarters of the shares. As with previous World Cups, Nike is one of the standout stars, so far attracting more than three times more shares than its fiercest rival adidas, who has been an official World Cup sponsor since 1970.

This month’s chart features two ads from the Oregon-based company. In second spot is “The Last Game”, an ad designed in a style familiar to Pixar films like Toy Story or The Incredibles. It depicts a world in which homogenous clone footballers have taken over the sport, leaving mavericks like Zlatan and Neymar Jr. to take other professions, such as hairdressers. It’s a little like the town that banned dancing in Footloose, only with Wayne Rooney instead of Kevin Bacon.

Seeing hugely famous athletes Disney-fied up is a strange joy, and the short film flies by with wit and imagination. With nearly 900,000 shares last month alone, it won’t be Nike’s last game either. Nike’s epic “Winner Stays” also makes June’s top 20 (18th), while adidas’ “House Match”, featuring David Beckham, is eighth.

In fourth is another ad from a brand not affiliated with the World Cup – Beats By Dre’s “Game Before The Game”. Backed up by a rousing soundtrack from Jamie N Commons & The X Ambassadors, the video features football stars and fans preparing for the match of their lives by going through their various superstitious pre-match rites. Neymar listens to a message from his dad, Cesc Fabregas kisses his ring four times, while Luis Suarez kisses the tattoo on his wrist of his children’s names. It’s an incredible watch, enough to get the pulses racing of even the most ardent football refuseniks.

Other new football-related ads to make it on to the top 20 are Banco de Chile’s compelling “Comercial Mineros” and a commercial from Middle-Eastern telecommunications company Ooredoo which stars Argentinian soccer superstar Lionel Messi. Castrol’s “Footkhana” is still the most shared ad from an official partner.

But World Cup ads did not have it all their own way during June. After scoring a huge social video hit last year with its wickedly funny “The Camp Gyno”, tampon subscription service HelloFlo returned last month with yet another fresh approach to feminine hygiene marketing. Created to promote its period starter kit, “First Moon Party” features a young girl so desperate to join her “blood sisters” at school she paints red nail varnish on a sanitary towel to fake her first period. Her mum quickly rumbles her, but plays along, organising what can only be described as the party from hell to celebrate her daughter’s milestone.

The result is probably the funniest ad about tampons ever made. Intentionally funny, at least. And judging by the ad’s immediate success, I’m not the only one giggling. The video has already surpassed the original, attracting 232,306 shares in just over a week, making it the ninth most shared ad last month. With lines like “Grandpa is bobbing for ovaries like a champ” and “do you know how hard it is to find a uterus pinata?”, the ad’s edgy humour and awkward subject matter will certainly not be to everyone’s tastes. But you certainly have to take your hat off to HelloFlo for coming up with a piece of content that would not look out of place during an episode of hit US TV show Modern Family.

Another feminine care brand also makes it on to this month’s top 20. But unlike HelloFlo’s humorous spot, P&G brand Always uses a more inspirational message to get people sharing its ad, “Like A Girl”. Directed by notable documentary photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, whose work has cataloged the self-esteem crisis among American females, the video empowers young women to turn an insulting phrase into a positive affirmation.

As one participant observes the end of the film, “why can’t ‘run like a girl’ also mean ‘win the race’?”. It’s a compelling message, which certainly resonated across the social web last month. Attracting more than 219,00 shares in just a few days, “Like A Girl” was the 11th most shared ad during June.

Other new ads to make it into the top 20 this month include a safety ad from Volkswagen that is sure to make you think twice about texting while driving and trailers for the latest chapters of the successful video game franchises FIFA, Assassin’s Creed, Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto.

 

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Pre-roll Ads Most Tolerable Video Ad Format [Report]

Yahoo! surveyed 1,775 consumers in the 16-44 age range who are regular online video viewers, several time a week at the least. Some of the results seem counter-intuitive to what many other reports have found. I guess it depends on who you survey, what platform you survey form and when you survey.

Paying for video seems to be not all that popular with the Yahoo! survey respondents. Just 35% said they would make micro payments for video while just 25% would pay monthly subscription fees for video. But the question is, are they talking about things like news video clips you find on Yahoo!? I mean, presumably, the audience they surveyed was theirs and not say, Netflix users.

Now, 35% of the U.S. online video viewing population is about 66 million people so that’s not all that bad. 25% is 47.25 million and that would be a fairly large SVOD subscriber base.

The research also showed that the video viewers are pretty ad savvy. Over half (57%) expect online advertising to be “more interactive.” More interactive than what immediately sprang to my mind. Than TV or print? Surely. Than other forms of digital advertising? Well, who knows, because I can’t find the exact wording of the question.

Privacy seems to be less of an issue to these surveyed consumers;

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 13.09.07

 

 

Nearly half of the respondents expect online advertising to be relevant to them and 55% expect to have some choice in the ads that are shown to them. So overall, about half of the respondents are ad savvy where they have some passing familiarity with interactivity, engagement, ad relevance and targeting and ad choice, presumably in pre-roll ads.

The quality expectation for online video content has come close to that from TV.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 13.08.14

This question seems a bit leading to me. Were they asking about appealing or disruptive or a combination of both? Take a look at this slide from a Yahoo! presentation of the results (the typo is theirs I assure you). It’s entirely possible that the “How acceptabile [sic] are each of these ads ?” was the exact question I suppose.

yahoo video ad format acceptance

Here’s that part where I said tolerable because just 22% said that pre-rolls are more acceptable, apparently in regards to the others. Second was interactive ads which had an 18% approval rating, even though in the same slide show 57% said they expect the ads to be more interactive. Sponsorships also got 18% of the vote. Tied at 15% were banner and wrapped banners and mid-rolls were least acceptable in the reported results.

For video player ads there’s a 10% difference in acceptance of mid-roll and pre-roll. I hate pre-rolls personally, especially when the ad is paired with a piece of content that is less than 200% of the ad length. In terms of relevant targeting, 42% said they would be happy to share shopping information to get more relevant ads, another 42% said they might consider it and 16% said No .

Finally a few key take aways for advertisers;

  • Take into account daypart, device type, and demeanor

  • •Don’t get in the way of what the user wants to do

  • •Use data wisely and respectfully when targeting

  • •Contribute to the value exchange and reciprocity

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Peek of the Week – Christmas edition [updated]

Yes its already that time again… here is our round up of the most viewed, talked about and expensive Christmas commercials starting with The Bear and the Hare, the £7 million John Lewis Christmas TV commercial;

Its arrival heralds the start of the festivities, according to economists, although the rival M&S campaign, unveiled this week, began the annual drive to make us stop budgeting and start indulging. M&S’s poster girl, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, in lingerie naturally, will be vying against a cartoon bear, the star of the John Lewis campaign. It’s beauty versus the beast.

Taking a different approach is Tesco that goes down the nostalgic route;

Morrison is playing it safe with celebrity endorsement

ASDA doesn’t give up on the price war, even during Christmas;

A very cute and massive unwrap from Cadbury

One of my favourite LEGO;

But Sainsbury probably created the most buzz this year with Christmas in a day. Last year they asked people to send in their personal video and so Christmas in a Day features heart-warming home footage of celebrations. Directed by Oscar-winning Life In A Day director Kevin Macdonald, His award-winning 2011 Youtube film featured 80,000 crowd-sourced clips. The ’Christmas in a Day’ 50-minute film, which took 14 months to make, documents the different experiences of a range of UK families to capture the diversity of celebrations across the country.

Brands Moving Budgets From TV To Online Video

Following customers as they wander off from their television sets, big brand advertisers are starting to divert TV ad budgets to online video–or at least they intend to.

That’s one of the most interesting findings in video ad exchange Adap.TV’s semiannual “State of the Video Industry” report conducted with the digital media site Digiday. Of course, it would be fair to assume that Adap.TV, which was acquired by AOL in August for $405 million and recently helped AOL AOL +3.98% unseat Google GOOG +0.11% as the biggest seller of video ads online, would be seeing trends like this perhaps more than a disinterested party. But it polled some 900 ad agencies, advertisers, ad networks, and publishers, so it’s worth paying attention to.

Not surprisingly, the study found that video ads are exploding, thanks in part to automated technologies to make the buying process faster and easier as well as a jump in the amount of live and on-demand content coming to all screens. This year, brands upped their video ad budgets by 65% from 2012. Some 86% of brands and 91% of agencies expect to spend more on them next year.

The study found that 31% of brands see video ad budgets coming from broadcast TV, 13% from cable TV. Display, which to date has been the main target and may well continue to be for years to come, was cited by 30% of brands. “People aren’t watching reliably in front of their TV screens anymore,” instead watching on multiple screens, Adap.TV Chief Marketing Officer Kara Weber said in an interview. “It’s shifting how brands are looking to reach consumers.”

Throw agencies, which constitute the largest segment polled at 43% of respondents, into the mix with brands, and the percentages change considerably. So it’s probably risky to extrapolate the results of this study to actual budgets shifts. Some 21% of agencies and brands together see budgets coming from broadcast, 11% citing cable. Instead, brands agencies overall saw big increases in budgets coming from out-of-home advertising such as billboards and search advertising. Brands see very little shift to online video coming from search because they view search ads as a good way to drive more people to their online video.

Only 3% of brands and agencies taken together cited display, which seems odd. However, Weber said that’s likely the result of agencies still being organized with separate TV and digital operations, so budgets don’t flow freely between the operations.

All that said, Adap.TV cautions that any change won’t be large or quick:

Looking still more closely at how much broadcast budgets could shift in the coming year, it’s important to note that this year 42 percent of all video advertising buyers said there had been no change in their broadcast spending whatsoever. So, while they say a change is likely in 2014, it may not necessarily come to fruition. Furthermore, the largest group of buyers says the decline was 10 percent or less of their broadcast budgets. These numbers will continue to fluctuate as buyers examine their efforts in TV, digital and mobile video, and how that translates into a media mix that adapts with the rapidly converging nature of those worlds.

Another big trend is the way these video ads are bought–via automated buying known as programmatic. “In just the past two years, brand patronage of programmatic video channels such as exchanges and DSPs has roughly doubled, as direct to publisher purchases have declined by 15 percent,” the report says. A lot more advertisers and agencies are also buying mobile ads than they were three years ago.

videoads-brand

But there remains at least one big obstacle to the movement of TV ad budgets to online video: a lack of universal metrics for determining how the reach, targeting, and performance of video ads. “Audience guarantees online were expected to be a game-changer for the ‘TV-ization’ of online video,” the study says. “Yet some 65 percent of brands and 70 percent of agencies say that existing measurement standards do not satisfy their need for audience guarantees.”

Will Video Ads Sink Facebook? Social Media Giant Faces User Backlash

The video ad market is on the cusp of a multi-billion dollar expansion that could transform Facebook and Instagram into syndication platforms putting pressure on the existing TV model, but those users may not accept commercials as readily as major online video sites.

TV advertising is a big business, but online video ads are projected to grow even more rapidly. eMarketer says that advertisers in the U.S. will spend $66.4 billion on TV ads this year, compared to $4.1 billion online. However, it foresees 40 percent growth in video ads.

Facebook Has the Potential To Generate $1 Billion in Ad Revenue

Morgan Stanley financial analysts are predicting that Facebook could generate over $1 billion next year in video ad revenues and as much as $6.5 billion by 2020. Advertisers are willing to pay a premium to Facebook because its ability to reach the coveted 25-34 demographic can exceed TV networks’ reach, Nielsen has found.

Facebook is especially attractive to advertisers during primetime hours. Nielsen has found that it is “a strong driver of duplicated reach—meaning that a marketer could reach the same consumers online and on TV.” Facebook complements TV ads and is overturning the perception that the Internet is only for niche audiences by becoming a channel for “broadly messaged, brand advertising,” Nielsen said in a July report. What’s important to note is that Facebook has served as extension to the main TV experience by bringing value through second screen activities. The Nielsen report noted that: The emergence of far-reaching publishers like Facebook, however, means that marketers now have another option for reaching consumers en masse. Likewise, the availability of true cross-screen metrics enables them to understand how digital can reinforce and complement their TV investment.

Facebook User Attention Span Is An Issue

Facebook has the scale to do this with its 1.15 billion monthly active users, but actual consumer interactions with its video ads could deviate from what analysts are expecting. Consumers are willing to sit through 30 or 60-second advertisements on online video platforms like YouTube,Hulu and UVidi, because they want access to the content. The social consumer is different – they don’t have the same attention span.

Moreover, Facebook doesn’t have a content strategy to hold users’ attention. The majority of the content that it distributes is user-generated and short-form, thus greatly reducing the likelihood that anyone is going to want to sit through a commercial to watch their friend’s cat fall off a couch. As video consumption evolves, we are seeing that 15 and 30 second pre-rolls are effective when users want premium content. It’s likely you will see much shorter messaging on social platforms with pre-roll that is 5 to 8 seconds long. Early testers will try to create branded content and use Facebook as a distribution source, but currently it can’t compete with the big video platforms because it won’t deliver equivalent results with its existing videos.

That’s the challenge: Facebook offers a very different customer experience from other content distribution sites. A model that could work would be to complement a TV advertising package with a Facebook extension that includes video to target mobile devices. More than 40 percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue and 68 percent of its traffic come from mobile customers, according to its Q2 earnings call in late July. That’s assuming users want ads.

Consumer sentiment could be why Facebook is moving so cautiously with video ads. It wants its ads to display in ways that aren’t distracting or alienating towards users the Wall Street Journal reports. “Striking that balance between consumer happiness and commercial opportunity has been a challenge for the young company, leading to delays and frustrations among the marketers it is trying to woo,” the report said.

While Facebook tinkers, established video platforms are better positioned to drawn display budget because of the duration of the videos. Morgan Stanley predicts that YouTube will generate $5.7 billion in video ad revenue next year, which is estimated to grow to approximately $17 billion by 2019.

Facebook could meet the street’s expectations, but that’s only true if consumers buy in. Content is king and will influence consumer interactions with video advertisements.

comScore Releases August 2013 U.S. Online Video Rankings

AOL Climbs into Second Place in Online Video Content Ranking with 71 Million Viewers

comScore released data from the comScore Video Metrix service showing that 188.5 million Americans watched 46.7 billion online content videos in August, while the number of video ad views totaled 22.8 billion.

Top 10 Video Content Properties by Unique Viewers

Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in August with 167 million unique viewers. AOL captured the #2 spot with 71.2 million, followed by Facebook with 62.2 million, NDN with 50.7 million and VEVO with 49.4 million. 46.7 billion video content views occurred during the month, with Google Sites generating the highest number at 17.4 billion, followed by AOL, Inc. with 992 million and Facebook with 803 million. Google Sites had the highest average engagement among the top ten properties.

Top U.S. Online Video Content Properties Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
August 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000)* Minutes per Viewer
Total Internet : Total Audience 188,499 46,746,596 1,294.3
Google Sites 166,966 17,437,897 521.6
AOL, Inc. 71,202 991,800 56.8
Facebook 62,183 803,148 21.6
NDN 50,650 569,815 92.0
VEVO 49,371 609,833 42.3
Microsoft Sites 48,894 689,704 33.0
Yahoo! Sites 45,049 368,975 79.2
Viacom Digital 44,434 452,938 45.2
Amazon Sites 34,499 133,380 22.5
Collective Video 31,857 149,318 29.1

*A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream. Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

Top 10 Video Ad Properties by Video Ads Viewed

Americans viewed nearly 22.8 billion video ads in August, with Google Sites ranking #1 with 3.2 billion ad impressions. Adap.tv came in second with more than 2.4 billion ads, followed by BrightRoll Platform with 2.4 billion and LiveRail.com with 2.2 billion. Time spent watching video ads totaled 8.5 billion minutes, with BrightRoll Platform and Adap.tv delivering the highest duration of video ads at 1.1 billion minutes each. Video ads reached 56 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 132 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 71.

Top U.S. Online Video Ad Properties Ranked by Video Ads* Viewed
August 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Ad Videos Only (Content Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Video Ads (000) Total Ad Minutes (MM) Frequency (Ads per Viewer) % Reach Total U.S. Population
Total Internet : Total Audience 22,755,256 8,518 132.3 55.6
Google Sites 3,171,612 301 28.5 35.9
ADAP.TV† 2,448,969 1,126 18.0 44.0
BrightRoll Platform**† 2,392,855 1,103 14.4 53.7
LIVERAIL.COM† 2,203,060 859 28.4 25.1
Specific Media** 1,665,541 645 13.0 41.2
SpotXchange Video Ad Marketplace† 1,249,149 467 14.4 28.1
Hulu 1,247,868 475 71.4 5.6
TubeMogul Video Ad Platform† 1,148,595 380 15.0 24.7
Tremor Video** 846,112 390 13.2 20.7
Videology† 751,183 291 9.8 24.8

*Video ads include streaming-video advertising only and do not include other types of video monetization, such as overlays, branded players, matching banner ads, etc.
**Indicates video ad network
†Indicates video ad exchange/DSP/SSP

Top 10 YouTube Partner Channels by Unique Viewers

The August 2013 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channel VEVO maintained the top position in the ranking with 47.8 million viewers. Fullscreen held on to the #2 position with 34.5 million viewers, followed by Maker Studios Inc. with 29.6 million, Warner Music with 26.9 million and ZEFR (formerly MovieClips) with 24.9 million. Among the top 10 YouTube partners, Machinima demonstrated the highest engagement (91 minutes per viewer), followed by Maker Studios Inc. (65 minutes per viewer). VEVO streamed the greatest number of videos (580 million), followed by Maker Studios Inc. (521 million).

Top YouTube Partner Channels* Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
August 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000) Minutes per Viewer
VEVO @ YouTube 47,764 580,437 40.8
Fullscreen @ YouTube 34,541 361,302 32.7
Maker Studios Inc. @ YouTube 29,573 521,066 65.1
Warner Music @ YouTube 26,921 159,047 19.2
ZEFR @ YouTube 24,893 126,822 13.8
The Orchard @ YouTube 21,197 87,548 12.1
Blizzard @ YouTube 18,261 43,062 4.1
rumblefish @ YouTube 17,784 44,429 7.0
Machinima @ YouTube 17,050 391,755 90.9
UMG @ YouTube 16,311 55,998 10.5

Other notable findings from August 2013 include:

  • 87 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 5.2 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 32.7 percent of all videos viewed and 3.4 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.

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.