The Two Main Forces Shaping Digital Advertising

2016-01-07-1452172799-4313575-Parveen_Panwar.pngParveen Panwar is passionate about online advertising and ad technology. He has created digital strategies for various video branding campaigns and made them successful through various distribution strategies in digital landscape. Learn more about what he does through his company, Vidaptiv.

While relatively new, interactive video advertising is changing the way video ads are perceived. Now, there needs to be more content than ad. 

Video becomes interactive through overlays on the video player. This can be done through images, text, buttons; the possibilities limited only by the advertiser's imagination. Interactive video advertising is still finding its footing in online advertising (an environment fraught with changing threats and opportunities), and like any nascent technology, a great deal of customization is required. But this also allows brands to engage with consumers in unprecedented ways.

As the CEO of an interactive video advertising company, I'm passionate about online advertising and ad technology. My job is to create digital strategies for video branding campaigns and make them successful through careful distribution in the digital landscape. Through this work I've seen two main forces shaping the development of video advertising, which advertisers need to understand in order to see success.

Ad Blocking
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With an increasing number of users installing ad-blocking software on their browsers, it's becoming difficult for companies to get their ads noticed, much less viewed. Ad blocking works by identifying scripts associated with known ad servers and preventing ads from loading altogether. This makes video a 'must have' for every content marketing plan, as they can be embedded directly into a website as content. This way the video is guaranteed to load, regardless of ad blocking.

This applies to both advertisers and publishers, and for them to work together to keep users engaged. Advertisers should keep in mind that ads served as content should follow the rules of content; in other words, be interesting and compelling. As many native advertisers are now learning, the more your ads look and act like ads, the more likely they are going to be blocked. Essentially, anything delivered programmatically from external servers can be identified as an ad and blocked. Conversely, the more your ad looks and acts like desirable content, the less likely it will be blocked.

New/Custom Ad Types

New ad standards, based on changing demands of browsers across PCs and mobile devices, are pushing old tools to the wayside. HTML 5 ads are replacing Flash, which increases the complexity of interactive design while allowing the same ad to run across all devices. Custom ad types are also in vogue in 2015, especially in-content formats such as Teads' inRead and Virool's InLine -- both of which appear in the content area of a website where the viewer is already looking.

In many ways, new technologies allow advertisers to mix and match for best results. Want to add an HTML 5 interactive video to a native advertorial post? Go for it. Can I run this interactive banner tag on PC and Mobile devices? Sure. What about adding view-ability measurement to an interactive video ad? Yep, it's all integrated.

For example, my company Vidaptiv ran a long-format interactive video campaign for a liquor brand via native placement on women's interest websites. In many ways, this campaign represents the evolution of advertising in the face of new challenges. Long-format video requires a targeted, home-grown audience, so each impression is valuable to the advertiser. By integrating interactive overlays to the video, brand goals of social sharing and product discovery were integrated into the video. The native-content article written for the video provided recipes for mixed drinks using the liquor brand. Changing the client's long-form video content into an interactive video resulted in a more engaged audience who received value from the interaction. It also added a brand experience that avoided ad blocking, and improved view-ability compared to some more traditional ad types.

Most video advertising campaigns can be successful if we make viewers active participants -- connecting company branding to customer action.