Video Lessons from the Big Boys!

Testing, Testing: Advertisers Should Use Online Ads to Gauge Effectiveness of (Big) TV Campaigns

Re-posted from by P.J. Bednarski, Tremor

Advertisers in 2013 will siphon more from their print budgets to use in online advertising as a kind of a test kitchen for campaigns, to help decide which of its pitches are working best.

That’s one of the big guesses for the year ahead from Tremor Video, the advertising services company that was a pioneer in the cost-per-engagement (CPE) model for tablets, laptops and mobile phone and TV advertisers.

The company says it makes sense for advertisers to experiment with several concepts on the Internet before deciding on the ad or campaign it will use, especially during mega-events like the Super Bowl or Oscar telecasts.

Far from dissing TV, Tremor acknowledges the 800 lb.-46 inch wide gorilla on the advertising landscape isn’t about to move out of the way. Advertisers want the big screen presence, and so do consumers. But some of the fine details, Tremor argues, can be worked on through online advertising.  

Tremor predicts some advertisers  ahead of the 2014 Super Bowl will “digitally test creative,”  effectively using online video as the “world’s largest and almost instantaneous focus group.”  Based on metrics and buzz, it is betting one advertiser will make a splash showing the winning ad at halftime, “removing some of the ‘high’ from the high-stakes bet.”  (Sounds to me like Tremor knows who this advertiser this is, but they say they’re just sayin’.)

Tremor says the trend is for online video advertising to engage consumers, almost by making commercials episodic. She notes in a company video that when anyone says, “let me tell you a story,” the natural reaction is to “lean in” to hear more.  

Tremor predicts an uptick in transmedia projects where the ad campaign can flow across all screens, a trend that’s more apparent so far on studio back lots on the West Coast than on Madison Avenue, also predicting “Advertisers will add a fourth dimension—touch—to sight, sound and motion on a major scale.”

Gone, or going, are the days when advertisers “re-purpose a TV spot for the Web and call it a day.” Instead, they’ll increasingly begin “to shoot extras, outtakes, content for the ‘making of’ video and other editorial content that will serve as interactive invitations to engage with the brand on all screens.”

Advertisers aren’t easily giving up their fixation on gross ratings points, but Tremor says adding in an online campaign’s Effective Ratings Points is a better way for advertisers to know who—precisely– is viewing an ad, and what they’re doing after they see it.

The biggest news on the video front is that —it’s not smart to “aim” car advertising at men, or detergent ads at women. He says when advertisers “quit chasing stereotypes” they discover that sometimes their market “look nothing like what you thought your target was.”   

So what do we learn from the Big Boys, that we can take-away at the local level? Test your ideas, Test your creative, Test your offers BEFORE you spend the big bucks to air on larger platforms. You will save money, improve results in in some cases, save a little embarrassment, too!

Share you successes and horror stories with us- and as always, I am glad to have a call and discuss what we can do to help!

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