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Online Video Advertising Builds Momentum

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With ubiquitous broadband access and ad-serving technologies becoming more sophisticated, marketers are increasingly interested in online video advertising opportunities. How do top interactive agencies leverage video for their online advertising campaigns?

A special report from the Search Engine Strategies conference, August 7-10, 2006, San Jose, CA.

Panelists on the session entitled "Online Video Advertising" discussed and demonstrated the effectiveness and marketing potential of downloadable video content.

Dorian Sweet, of Tribal DDB focused his discussion on the use multimedia content to engage the audience. To illustrate the topic, Sweet presented the hilarious interactive video used for their Nortel shaver by Philips campaign.

"This is the age of access, not just information," Sweet explained He went on to explain how more website visitors have broadband access, which enables them to access more multimedia content. "Visitors access deeper into a website and review more pages because they are being entertained," he said.

Sweet touched upon how much of this multimedia content is being consumed in sites like YouTube.com, MySpace.com and Google Video. In the end, he emphasized, "Audiences are much more receptive to being entertained, not just informed".

Next, Tom Bedecarre from interactive agency AKQA offered a case-study video collage featuring high profile clients including Nike, Coca Cola, and X-box. The video effectively engaged the audience with bold images, a booming soundtrack and fast-paced video clips. Video snippets used to attract their target market of young adults, such as cartoons and fiery explosions from graphically enhanced video games, were mixed into the visually stunning presentation.

Bedecarre described his market of young adults by saying "Our target audience is the video or "V" generation. They have been watching video since they were born. At every moment this generation of multi-tasking technophiles has been video taped and weaned on reality TV."

Youth-focused brands are desperately seeking online video integrations, according to Bedecarre. "Interactive agencies are being asked to create TV ads. There is a lot of crossover between interactive and traditional agencies. We do not need the standard 30 second ad- we do things quickly because our visitors have A.D.D."

While presenting the MTV Unplugged website, Bedecarre showed a button rollover that pulls up a well-skinned video ad inside the pop-up. He also demonstrated how co-branding is achieved through a Visa video ad which is layered into a static mobile phone graphic. Each of the AKQA examples presented clearly illustrated how marketers are only scratching the surface with the potential variations and hybrid uses of video.

Next up was Maria Mandel from Ogilvy Interactive, who outlined the role interactive agencies are taking with the metaphor of a campfire. "Video is the flame and unifying force bringing the project managers, video broadcast producers and technical teams together. The lines are blurring in how video content is created-there are multiple formats and multiple lengths," she said.

"50% of Ogilvy's clients are producing online video this year," she said. "In many cases, Ogilvy's clients are even starting to produce web-only video and creating content specifically to show up online bypassing TV altogether."

Mandel mentioned the various uses of video content including mobile TV, video search, gaming devices, personal video recorders (i.e. Tivo) advertising, video on-demand and broadband internet. "Video is most effective if the visitor can interact with it," Mandel commented and then demonstrated with several web-campaign case studies.

One example included the website created for Renault Automotive. When a mouse rolls over a flash clip of Renault's Clio model, a car salesman retorts "Hey, please don't touch the car". She showed another unique feature-using video to introduce online navigation, provide support, and lead interactive guided tours.

She then presented the IBM HelpDesk campaign. "IBM was able to build a relationship with high value customers through a broadband channel they created called IBM Forwardview," Mandel commented. "It has new content published on a monthly basis."

In a pleasant surprise to the audience, Mandel showed an example of using online video to target a market other than teens and young adults. In order to best educate women over 45 years, Ogilvy created an interactive panel of four experts to engage the visitor to inquire more about Wyeth's menopause treatments. Similar to a choose-your-own adventure story, video segments were streamed into the browser depending on which expert was clicked on.

Mandel went on to show how you can use viral video to build buzz for brands and presented a website created for DHL called "Waitin' Woes" that had users interacting with the website on average of 5 minutes at a time. Also demoed were two American Express examples from YouTube, where the Wes Anderson Ogilvy-created ad was posted, and another example featuring a user-generated ad for "American Excess." This example featured a consumer's rendition of the American Express Robert DeNiro ad.

Mandel ended the session with three notable key points. The first related to using multimedia and video as an effective branding, relationship building and sales tool. "Give people what they want when they want it." The next point was basically to make content contextually and behaviorally relevant. "Entertain visitors. Get them to react." Finally, "Build a community where they can find things and share them."

Brooke Schumacher is President and Search Marketing Strategist at B Line Marketing.

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