The planning and buying of digital video and TV ads are becoming increasingly intertwined but marketers across the industry still struggle with measurement, targeting and carbon emission tracking.
That was the message from IAB Australia in its latest Video Advertising State of the Nation Report, which also revealed that advertisers spent almost $3.3 billion on digital video advertising last year.
In fact, video ad expenditure jumped 12 per cent and now represents 60 per cent of general display advertising.
However, while video advertising is fantastic for reach — with 62 per cent of agencies ranking it as the number one driver for continued investment in the medium — it presents a range of problems, not least with measurement.
The industry association revealed its research with a morning event held in Sydney’s Surry Hills, with panels, a keynote, a tasty breakfast and networking.
“Measurement is everything,” said Louisa Chu, Uber Rides and Eats’ brand media lead across Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.
“Publishers that will partner with us on measurement and help us create a learning agenda for the work that we’re doing is paramount.”
When pressed by IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy, moderating the panel on which metrics mattered most to Uber, Chu was clear.
“We love a brand lift study at Uber. But some of the newer channels looking at delivery, reach and those sorts of things we still need to be looking at. But for more established channels we need to understand how we can continue to optimise the way we’re buying and the creative we’re putting in are driving brand lift.”
Chris Dutton, digital media and ad tech lead at Youi, concurred.
“I agree with measurement, particularly with memorability-type metrics and scores. As I mentioned, we’re concentrating on getting the consideration set.
“I know attention scores and attention metrics are very much trending but I see those as upper-funnel.”
But, exclusion targeting also seems to present problems for advertising in video environments. Susan Gopperth, ANZ media manager for Ferrero, explained that TikTok’s recent £12.7 million (almost $24 million) fine in the UK for misusing children’s data was the tip of the iceberg.
“From a brand safety point of view, it’s understanding who is using the platform,” she explained.
In fact, Ferrero HQ has deigned that the Australian office is not allowed to use TikTok as an advertising platform.
“We haven’t been able to use TikTok,” added Gopperth.
“We’re exploring TikTok and Snapchat purely for the brand safety aspect and its significant audience. But there is still the measurement piece — I sit at home and my son is watching YouTube and he’s served a Nutella B-ready ad and I think ‘You shouldn’t be served that! We’ve got exclusion lists.’
“It’s frustrating. I understand that device IDs are very hard to determine but we have to be very, very careful now because it just takes one complaint to start a review.”
The ongoing fragmentation of the video landscape was another hot-button issue for the panellists. While the problems from a media planning and buying issue are obvious, there was much consternation about the role that generative AI could play in the creative execution for video ads.
“One of the interesting trends we’re seeing from this research is the uptake in streaming and YouTube. More than 50 per cent of people are doing that regularly or every day, versus people watching TV, which is less than 50 per cent,” explained Vikki Pearce, Zenith’s head of digital in Victoria and Queensland.
“There’s also a growth in social platforms. TikTok, specifically in this market is growing very rapidly, but there’s also a resurgence from Meta with Facebook and Instagram. A lot of that is driven, from what we can see, by the diversity of formats and Reels specifically.”
When it came to AI, Simon Thomas, managing partner of Elastic Group, was on hand to explain the potential benefits, as much as the negatives of the tech.
“No one likes doing 80 versions of a retail offer. I’m happy to see that happen first,” he said.
“ChatGPT is a really great platform and people are referencing it and using it for different things. Is it the answer? Not all the time.
“Personalisation and fast turnaround [are key benefits of AI],” continued Thomas.
“We did the Menulog winter sale stuff for the NRL after the backlash from the Katy Perry ad. We turned it around in a few days, got it on air and won the state of originality for them.”
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