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The power of video and good storytelling

Jennifer Marlo
The power of video and good storytelling Jennifer Marlo

We've all experienced the power of video advertising-- ads such as Google's "Parisian love" and Nike's "Basketball never stops" demonstrate that the combination of solid storytelling, visuals, and sound can tug at our heartstrings and move us in ways no other medium can.

"When was the last time anyone got emotional over a banner ad?" said Tim Avila, VP of product marketing at Brightroll, at last week's iMedia Video Summit in San Antonio, Tex. "Never. But video offers the full sight and sound experience. You can tell a great story with video and that's why we're seeing such extraordinary growth...the penetration of the medium into the marketplace is substantially deeper than it has ever been. "

The enormous leaps and bounds that video advertising has made are astounding. Just think -- in the 1970's and 80's there were only 10 cable channels. By the 1990's there were 60 channels, and that number grew to 300 in the early 2000's.

Today, there are thousands of sites and channels spread across four screens. The fact that video is now always on demand means that it has a targetable reach, which translates to reaching granular audiences at scale. Consider this: 185 million people watch online video today, resulting in a 55 percent growth in ad spending.

Another way in which video has evolved, is that "prime time" is no longer the only prime time for viewership.

According to Avila, BrightRoll (the leading aggregator of video viewers in the U.S.) sees billions of ad requests per month. "Those ad requests are a good indicator of when folks are watching," Avila said. "We see a surprising spike around 9pm...[this is a possible indicator that] folks are engaging with TV on their tablets and smartphones during this time."

The evening isn't the only time where advertisers are seeing a spike in viewership. Data confirms that users are also consuming media in the morning hours and in the late afternoon -- suggesting that they're watching video on their mobile devices during their commute to and from work.

This demonstrates that knowing on what devices consumers are viewing video is just as important as knowing when they're "tuning in."

At 107 million users, "phones are the underdog," Avila said. The average smartphone owner spends 119 minutes a day on their mobile device, and over 23 percent of this time is spent consuming mobile media. These numbers are expected to significantly increase over time. In fact, mobile is the fastest growing segment of video.

Today, there are 55 million tablet users, a 62 percent increase in users just this year. By 2014,   eMarketer predicts that there will be a 36 percent increase in tablet use.

The advantage for marketers is that they can now target by geo-location, device, search, and app.

Last but not least, ConnectedTV is expected become a prominent part of people's lives in the near future. Today, only 10 percent of all TV sets are internet connected (30 million households). ConnectedTV doesn't have the scale yet, but it will. It's estimated that 2015, 76 percent of TVs will be connected. This is definitely a medium you'll want to pay attention to.

The takeaways:

  • Targeting allows for reaching new, specific audiences

  • Take your message deeper with interactive formats and dynamic creative

  • Focus on the appropriate screen for each day part

  • Counter fragmentation by integrating four screens into the plan

Jennifer Marlo is associate editor at iMedia Connection.

On Twitter? Follow Jennifer at @iMediaJenny. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Jennifer Marlo

Jennifer received her BFA from UC Santa Barbara and MFA from CALARTS in 2006. Post graduation, Jennifer segued into freelance writing, focusing on various topics such as arts, entertainment, travel, and tourism. Jennifer is a native Los Angelean...

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