As Australia limps towards the broadband speeds we deserve, the ability of a wider national audience to stream video over their internet connection increases too. As the technology improves, marketers are going to have to wrap their heads around the power of video content as a way of engaging consumers and delighting them online.

The more video our customers are consuming, the more ordinary our standard banner ads and print creative are going to seem in comparison. As the bar on how engaging our online content continues to be raised, so too do we need to start thinking very carefully about how engaging and entertaining our online advertising is.

With the benefit of my experience here are my Top 5 Tips for marketers interested in employing online video advertising:

  1. Don’t assume that all video is good video.
    Television advertising communicates with a captive audience, which is trained to pay attention to a narrative as it unfolds. 30 seconds is a reasonable time in the TV world, relative to a 45 minute long show. In the online world, 30 seconds can feel like an eternity.

  2. Simply running your TVC is a start, but try a video concept specifically for the digital space.
    The most important thing to take into consideration when creating video assets for the online world is the inherent difference between the two media. TV viewing is a passive experience, while browsing online is active. When incorporating video into ads, creative should maximise the interactivity of the online world and make sure the video is in line with these unique characteristics.
  3. Remember a one video fits all approach is not the best approach.
    Even though almost 90% of Australian’s access the internet through a broadband connection the actual speeds vary greatly. Make sure your technology vendor can automatically create multiple file size options of the video and target them on the fly to suit the viewer’s connection speed. No sense making a low bandwidth viewer wait for a video to play, or reducing the quality for a high bandwidth viewer.
  4. Know your original formats.
    While .AVI files may come straight from the video producer and have the highest video and audio quality, the format is heavy in file size and won’t compress very far. On the other side of the coin, .WMV provides small file sizes and may fit publisher specs in just one shot, but compressed .WMV files may result in over-compression – which can mean choppy or pixilated video and bad audio. .MOV files provide the best combination of high-quality video and good compressibility. Furthermore, .MOV files work smoothly with available third-party software solutions, compressing and converting in one simple step.
  5. Video starting automatically should be muted by default.
    Audio should only be turned on as a user interaction – so include a clear sound on/off button. If the video is user-initiated, then sound can default to on.

And if you want to see what I think are some of the best examples of really engaging and entertaining video advertising, have a look at these three executions:


What do you think?

  • What sorts of metrics do you use to start measuring the success of video ads? Click-through rates alone dont seem to cut it with these sorts of executions.
  • How much should you be expected to pay for serving video advertising? What are standard loading rates for streaming video?