Pre-Roll Leads Dollars to Digital Video


United States digital video ad spend will rise a projected 41.4 percent this year and almost 40 percent next year to reach $5.7 billion annually, according to eMarketer, and much of that spend will come out of money formerly dedicated to television. Some 70 percent of buy-side senior executives in the United States recently told the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) that they expect to shift TV dollars to digital video in the coming year. Diverting dollars to digital doesn’t mean that TV will be left behind, however; IAB reports that nearly two-thirds of those who had launched cross-platform campaigns were happy enough with the results to say they would increase their budgets for combined TV-and-digital video buys going forward.


Which digital video format will see the biggest increases in spending? A study released in April from Be On, a division of AOL Networks, says that 73 percent of marketers worldwide expect to increase spending on pre-roll advertisements in the next 12 months, with social video ads second at 53 percent. The problem? “Interruptive” pre-roll ads may produce more negative feelings among viewers.


A Sharethrough study of five advertisers serving up identical creative in pre-roll and “native” advertising formats (initiated by the consumer) found that native video drove higher brand “lift” or purchase intent in every campaign, according to Nielsen metrics. In a campaign for a nonalcoholic beverage brand, for example, pre-roll ads generated just 2.1 percent brand lift (25.9 percent vs. 25.4 percent) over no ad views whatsoever, while native ads achieved 46.2 percent lift—or 82 percent more purchase intent. In another campaign for a consumer packaged-goods brand, pre-roll ads produced a nearly 14 percent negative lift from zero exposures.