In the advertising world there is a clear differentiation between brand advertising and performance advertising. While brand advertising is focused on increasing the brand’s awareness, the latter focuses on a direct response from the consumer. These programs are typically managed by different departments, pulling budgets from different places and are focused on achieving different goals.
When we ask customers about how they measure the impact of their online video advertising, they reply: “This is just a branding campaign.” Such a response raises uncertainties and, as if online video is just an excuse to throw away money without looking into the business impact or value created.
Of course value is generated with brand awareness, but it’s difficult to quantify it. Historically advertisers used gross rating point (GRP) data and surveys to try and provide some sense of measurement. Even though today the overall video ad industry is lacking a consistent measurement tool, there are new ideas on how video engagement should be measured.
I recently saw an ad on Hulu.com. Though this site typically focuses on brand awareness ads that are repurposed from TV, this ad contained a clear call-to-action on the screen: “Click Video for Summer Offer.” The Blinds to Go marketing team behind this ad understood that beyond the brand awareness value they typically receive, there was an opportunity to attain direct response performance from viewers as well.
On the other side of the advertising spectrum there is a sense that even with a direct response campaign, there is some level of brand engagement that usually gets totally discounted. Take this example to the right of a dynamically created, retargeted display banner ad from TigerDirect.com.
There is clear value in exposing consumers to the brand. Advertisers have been buying print ads in newspapers and magazines for years knowing that this type of exposure eventually results in more sales at the bottom of the funnel.
So, we see that the siloed world of black and white brand versus performance advertising is becoming blurred – but this is a positive effect! I see this middle, grey area as a great opportunity for innovation around delivering value and ways to measure it. Online video advertising has the ability to bridge these two ad disciplines and deliver the best of both worlds as long as advertisers are willing to open their mind to the new paradigms in advertising.