Video Is Hot But The Ad Industry Is Missing A Trick

Video Is Hot But The Ad Industry Is Missing A Trick
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Online video and the opportunities are massive, says chief commercial officer at Site Tour, Vicki Lyon.

The Asia Pacific advertising industry went wild as it began to get to grips with how to properly utilise online video for advertising campaigns. This was by using data to discover the best positioning for video advertisements and creating more information to justify the spend and grow the money pot for the next investment into video advertising.

According to the IAB, the financial year 2012/13 saw video advertising spend increase a massive 31% on average while online video’s share of the display advertising revenue increased 12% in the same year. That period saw a new player in video enter the fray. Digital out-of-home screens are able to deliver video advertising at the point of sale in many cases (think Westfield digital screens, for example), but despite this, uptake hasn’t been as quick as it should be. The out of home advertising sector still only commands a very small percentage of the entire advertising pie – in fact, it’s in the single digits.

The way we think about out-of-home advertising needs to change, and change fast. Why? Because video advertising is now as much an out-of-home domain as it is an online or TV domain. Think about how many times you step into a lift heading to your next meeting and are greeted by a digital display. Or the amount of lobbies you wait in with large displays above the reception. How about all those digital displays you pass on the way home at the train or bus stop, or in the gym as you do another kilometre on the treadmill? TV might have you at prime time, your smartphone may have you on the bus home, but while you’re on the go, digital out-of-home presents a solid opportunity for a brand’s video campaign.

As an industry we quickly found out how valuable TV advertising could be, got on top of online display advertising eventually, and then rushed into mobile devices. Out-of-home digital display seems to be taking the same growing path as online display. In other words, we know the audience is there, we have the data to prove ROI, but there is still some hesitancy.

So why hasn’t there been more take up, more creativity, and more excitement over the possibilities provided by bringing the digital world into the real world? It seems to be largely a budget issue. Going back to what I mentioned before, the out-of-home spend silo is far smaller than that of digital, and out-of-home digital display still sits in the out-of-home silo, not the digital silo. Advertisers must get over this traditional splitting of budgets to make the most of their campaigns.

It’s a lesson not just for the case I am talking about now, but for the future as well. Long have we spoken about silos and the somewhat misguided spending habits but it won’t stop until we realise that silos need to be flexible and spend has to be able to come out of what is deemed the relevant silo on the fly.

One of the big issues around TV and digital spend that I have heard recently is that the spend pot is gigantic — bigger than we have seen for some time. It massively outdoes the closest rival. But what is missing is a wealth of suitable content to go with the spend being thrown at it.

There are only so many prime time spots and programs within those that can suit a brand. There are only so many websites with significant hits that will integrate well with a brand. Now online TV services are fighting for eyes, from Stan to Netflix and everything in between — it’s a crowded market.Yet there are plenty of digital screens now that are extremely close to the point of sale. They are available now, can be purchased as you would any other digital, and have great ROI. In April last year, Adshel CEO Rob Atkinson told the Australian trade media that digital out-of-home would lift creative standards soon. I just want to see more creative, it’s a bonus if it’s good.

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