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For Effective Digital Video, Put Brand Front and Center

Digital video viewers most likely to skip ads before recognizing product

June 3, 2015

Branded video ad views worldwide rose nearly 70% between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015, from 2.48 billion to 4.19 billion, according to Visible Measures data, which counted views that were user-initiated and targeted to English-speaking audiences. If marketers want to take advantage of heightened attention to digital video ads, they’d be wise to reveal their brand immediately, based on other recent research.

Length of Time It Takes to Recognize the Brand/Product Being Advertised in a Digital Video Ad According to US Digital Video Viewers, April 2015 (% of respondents)

When an April 2015 study by Strata asked US digital video viewers the length of time it took them to recognize the brand or product being advertised in a digital video ad, respondents were most likely to say that they often hit “skip this ad” before they even recognized the product being sold.

Respondents were most likely to skip ads because they were in a hurry and wanted to watch the video they were trying to view, cited by 39.4% and further stressing the need to grab busy viewers’ eyes instantly. This response was far more common than other reasons for skipping digital video ads, such as passing on ads that ran repeatedly, were too long, or weren’t properly targeted or of interest.

Primary Reason for Skipping Digital Video Ads Among US Digital Video Viewers, April 2015 (% of respondents)

Of course, brand names don’t guarantee views. Strata found that digital video viewers were most likely to view video ads instead of skipping them if they were funny (51.8%) or entertaining (45.1%). Properly targeted (33.0%) or educational or information ads (29.5%) had a smaller impact, and results indicated that celebrities had little influence, with just 16.6% saying they watched because they were a fan of an actor or actress in an ad.

eMarketer estimates that US digital video ad spending will rise 33.8% this year to reach $7.77 billion, or 13.3% of total digital ad investments. Considering that December 2014 polling by BrightRoll found that completed views were the most important success metric for digital video campaigns among US ad agency professionals, if advertisers want to get the most out of those dollars, they’ll need to put their brand center stage immediately, and follow it up with funny and entertaining content.


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