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Video ads go down a storm online

Video ads go down a storm online

Encouraging news for advertisers considering a foray into the world of online video, a study by Dynamic Logic has discovered consumers find Unicast’s new video commercial format much less irritating then TV ads or pop-ups.

Initial trials of the technology, which offers broadcast quality video, regardless of connection speed, has found that only 28 percent of users were annoyed by it, compared to 38 percent who are annoyed by TV ads and a staggering 78 percent who hate pop-ups.

Furthermore, 89 percent agreed with the statement that they “felt like they were watching a television commercial” and 88 percent agreed with the statement that “sound made the ad more enjoyable.”

The online study, surveyed more than 3,500 users over six weeks and tested three of the 10 advertising campaigns currently trialling Unicast’s video format - Pepsi, Honda and Vonage - on leading sites such as About.com, CBS Sportsline, Gamespot, iVillage and Lycos.

It also found that the video commercials had a much bigger impact than other forms of net advertising.

Dynamic Logic asked unexposed and exposed groups the same questions on four brand metrics: brand awareness, message association, brand favourability and purchase intent.

On average, the video commercial campaigns boosted the advertiser’s brand awareness by 54 percent, message association by 144 percent, brand favourability by 40 percent, and purchase intent by 47 percent.

"Consumers are positively affected by the television-like characteristics of the video commercial and are more open to these ads than other forms of advertising," said Ms Savarino of Unicast.

The initial results of the study are promising for the video commercial format, the companies say, and last week saw several leading web publishers, among them Forbes.com and weather.com, signing up for the new video commercials.

“We fully expected the results from the study to be positive, but we were particularly excited to see just how large an effect the advertiser campaigns had on lifting key persuasion metrics, such as brand preference and purchase intent,” says Unicast.

“At the end of the day, the most important thing to an advertiser is that they’re able to grow as a brand and move products/services, and this format allows them to do that.”

"These results further indicate that given the opportunity to use video, advertisers can shift consumer attitudes and accelerate favourability and purchase intent for their brands," said Allie Savarino, senior vice president of Unicast.

However, it’s difficult to draw any definite conclusions on a sample of three campaigns.

The second phase of the study will look at two other test campaigns - Warner Brothers and AT&T.

The video commercials are the result of collaboration between online ad developers, Unicast, and software giant, Microsoft.

The video commercial is a full screen online ad format that plays a 2MB, 30-second, broadcast quality video, regardless of connection speed.

The ad is downloaded in the background while people browse through a site. Surfers can choose to close the ad.

The format is based on Microsoft's Windows Media 9 Series and uses Unicast proprietary pre-cached technology.

Sources: BBC Online, Dynamic Logic, Unicast, The Register


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