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How best to make online video ads truly interactive

Art direc­tors want­i­ng to get the best out of video adver­tis­ing for their online adver­tis­ing agen­cies might do well to heed some new “best prac­tice” guid­ance from eMarketer.

The rise of interactive

It’s no secret that inter­ac­tive video adver­tis­ing is grow­ing. Video ad man­age­ment firm VINDICO’s data shows that dig­i­tal video ads fea­tur­ing some form of inter­ac­tiv­i­ty leapt from 2 per­cent in Jan­u­ary 2013 to 11 per­cent in June. Its pres­i­dent, Matt Tim­o­thy, explained that the share of video ads fea­tur­ing inter­ac­tiv­i­ty dou­bled between 2012 and 2013 and he expects it to dou­ble again next year.

Dig­i­tal video ad spend­ing is grow­ing sharply accord­ing to eMarketer’s research, and its share of the total dig­i­tal dis­play bud­get is set to climb from this year’s 23.4 per­cent to 30.7 per­cent in 2017. And that means that it’s more impor­tant than ever to under­stand the best prac­tice in how to make video ads gen­uine­ly interactive

But pret­ty much all art direc­tors would prob­a­bly con­sid­er them­selves rook­ies when it comes to inter­ac­tive video. Today’s inter­ac­tive video ads involve an active two-way, give-and-take com­mu­ni­ca­tion between adver­tis­ers and con­sumers. And eMarketer’s new guide, “Inter­ac­tive Video Adver­tis­ing: Sev­en Best Prac­tices for a New Ad Chan­nel”, sets out clear­ly what counts as inter­ac­tive – a must-read for art direc­tors and prod­uct managers.

An art director’s guide

eMar­keter iden­ti­fies five ele­ments which con­tribute to video ad interactivity:

  1. A click­able but­ton to enable engage­ment through Twit­ter, Face­book, Pin­ter­est, Google+, etc.
  2. Giv­ing prospec­tive con­sumers choice over which ad cat­e­gories to opt for via an ad selector.
  3. A user action fea­ture like a rollover or a click that ini­ti­ates addi­tion­al content.
  4. A “call to action” inside the video play­er which paus­es the ad and expands in a new win­dow for the con­sumer to intact with.
  5. An over­lay enabling fea­tures such as ani­ma­tion, rich media graph­ics, an extra lay­er of video above the main ad or even a sim­ple two-ques­tion poll.

Two fur­ther points are includ­ed in the guide: be aware of the audience’s moti­va­tion. Peo­ple view­ing high-con­sid­er­a­tion prod­ucts will almost cer­tain­ly appre­ci­ate an in-ad means of access­ing fur­ther infor­ma­tion, while oth­ers will appre­ci­ate some form of enter­tain­ment (e.g., a game or a movie preview).

Final­ly, vary the call to action to suit the prod­uct and the audi­ence being pitched to.

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