Cory Treffiletti, Catalyst:SF, talks to his panel about when online dollars will flow to online video. Eventually, as the audience flocks to the medium, so will dollars. In the meantime, agencies and their clients have to figure out how to measure success, how to produce those spots and what clients can get out of it.
- Mike Parker, chief digital strategist at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
- Jon Raj, chief digital officer of media buying company OMD
- Jason Tsai, SVP and group communications director at Universal McCann
Cory: What are the biggest hurdles for online video ad sales today?
Mike: Clients are comfortable with the video medium and they understand it sometimes far better than other online options, so clients have bought into it. As a creative agency we like it. The web has been constraining from a creative perspective, so we really like video. However, there are some operational things that are holding us back. We also grapple with the production side of it. Don’t just repurpose your 30s that run on TV, but when you get into the production, your team is used to 30, so who will craft the 15s? Then that means extra production costs so we’re still trying to get our hands around that.
Jon: We need to challenge our clients to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. All video isn’t created equal, so clients are comfortable with professional video for their message while some of the other content, they’re not OK with.
Jason: Online video is in the middle of direct response campaigns for search or a pure online brand-related campaign, so sometimes it’s hard to figure out what you’re trying to do with an online video campaign. Is it branding or is it response?
Cory: What do your clients want to see?
Jon: No one has objectives specific to online video, from our perspective. They have an objective for the campaign. It’s the agency’s responsibility to put all the options in front of the client and tell them what’s available.
Audience question about localization of ads: Mike says clients aren’t really there yet. They’ll get there, but it’s not something they’re asking for right now. Jon counters by saying that geo-targeting is a natural place to go and if the industry is not delivering that within a year or so, he thinks there will be a problem. However, Mike brings up the issue of scale and making the costs match up with the actual audience size.
Audience question about conflict between spend on traditional TV and the spend for online video. If there is a conflict how are those ranked?
Jason says there is a natural conflict between any different ad mediums but we are seeing a trend between agencies, publishers and clients trying to be more holistic about their online ad budgets and allocations? Then Cory asks if that conflict might driven by ad agencies trying to earn more for producing expensive ads. Mike glides over that question by talking about creating efficiencies in production by planning a package of ads produced together for all mediums. Jon says efficiencies are ideal, but the industry isn’t there yet.
Audience question as to where the tipping point is for online ads next to online professional video.
Jon says clients need to get more comfortable, but that should come. One thing that will help is figuring out how to measure video impressions online vs. video impression on television. Jason points out that such a shift will take time and Mike adds that it might be a question of value, where advertisers are putting more value on the television audience over online audience. Jon thinks that’s stupid. Jason points out that the experience online is different from the web so maybe it is more valuable. Plus as Cory says, the audience is huge and sitting in front of the TV at the time, rather than cumulatively watching online video and gaining an audience over a longer point in time.
Audience asks if maybe ad dollars won’t ever go online. Perhaps it’s not a perfect medium?
Jon is really excited about this and says it could eventually become the “holy grail” of advertising. But it will take time. Mike says it may be slow, but those dollars will come. The model will change online and won’t be a model where there’s long-form content with ads interrupting the content as it does on TV. Mike’s clients, such as Sprint, are more excited about their products getting woven into the content.
Audience thinks this sounds great, but no one asks us for video impressions. Why is that? Where is the disconnect?
Jason says if publishers are turning down free video at my agency I’m gonna need some names. But, in some campaigns it may not be right for our client or we may not have video content for a campaign. Plus, fragmentation is a problem. We don’t want to make 100 deals for every campaign. We want to go someplace to get all of our audience at once.