“Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.” Homer Simpson

Despite the dire predictions of the early internet years, streaming has not led to the demise of TV as a form of entertainment. It’s just changed how and when we watch. As that respected marketing sage, Homer Simpson, could tell you, people everywhere are clamoring for good video content more than ever—even if that does mean binge-watching Krusty the Clown!

And—even better news for marketers—the advent of streaming has not killed off online advertising. Far from it. In fact, the move toward OTT-delivered content has made video advertising more effective, efficient, and powerful than ever. It just takes some new thinking about how to target the right audience, and how to develop the right kind of content to attract attention, be remembered and inspire a meaningful response.

Digital is not the end of creative advertising—it means that advertising must be more creative than ever!

OTT, the Next Revolution of TV

We’ve been hearing about the future of addressable television since the earliest days of the internet. Well, that future is finally here! Between smart TVs and 5G speeds, there really is nothing that stands between consumers and the video entertainment they want, and when and where they want it. The question is, how can online advertisers take full advantage of these developments?

The facts on OTT are truly astonishing, offering good news for online advertising:

  • There is a 98% viewing completion rate of ads over OTT devices
  • Ad blockers have not (yet) found their way to the OTT environment
  • OTT ads are not susceptible to bots or other nonhuman traffic
  • Ads on OTT are highly targetable on actual viewer behavior and preference

And binge-watching content on a big home screen is not the only excitement in video advertising. Small-screen content delivered through social and mobile continues to gain more acceptance by consumers. In fact, the average completion rates of video advertising are hitting new highs across all platforms—surpassing 80%, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Some Keys to Creating Relevant Video

One thing hasn’t changed: People are still turning on their screens for content, not commercials. Just because they’re viewing video ads to completion does not necessarily mean that they are remembering them more. Of course, great media targeting is always important, and certainly one of the biggest advantages of OTT. But that’s only half the story. Video ads are competing with more messages than ever, and it takes even greater creativity to catch attention, be remembered, and inspire action.

No, we’re now going to tell you how to have that next big idea. As our own creative teams like to say, it takes a good brief to think up great ideas—so we’ll leave that part of it to you and your teams. But there are some important points to keep in mind as you go about creating video for online advertising.

  • Think channel specific. You can’t simply take a 30-second or 15-second spot produced for air during series TV and stick it onto Facebook.
  • Format matters. Many social platforms are primarily seen in a vertical format, while video content and TV shows are viewed horizontally. Don’t make viewers do gymnastics to see your ad.
  • Is six seconds the new 60? 30? 15? Publishers and platforms offer an incredible range of unit lengths, and not every story can be told in the same amount of time. Decide what message you can get across in a given media buy, and don’t try to do too much.

After all, catching viewers’ attention in those breaks between the content they’re really interested in is still the challenge. And still where creativity makes the ultimate difference for online adveritsing. Or, well, let’s let one of our favorite TV families have the last word:

Homer: Well, here we are, a whole family, all together, sharing, getting to know each other, exchanging ideas, stories and laughs, snuggling up, bonding together as only a tightly knit family can. Why, we’re more— 

Bart: Dad, you can stop now. Commercial’s over and the show’s back on. 

Homer: Oh, yeah.