Mention mobile video advertising and most of us will think pre-roll. It’s true that the format has a natural place at the top of the digital marketing funnel, helping brands raise awareness and drive website traffic.
But I think we have become fixated on pre-roll. As the IAB has pointed out, pre-roll is just one part of digital video ad effectiveness. And let’s face it, pre-roll can become irritating when you just want to watch something.
There are so many more exciting formats coming down the pike. I think mobile video is going to find its way further down the funnel, grabbing people’s attention and persuading them, through the art and science of advertising, to convert.
Principal among these I see as native video ads. Unlike pre-roll, native ads are less intrusive and make for a better overall user experience. When they’re in-app they also tend to stay on-screen and are therefore better for viewability (another hot topic doing the rounds currently). This all makes for greater awareness: for example, IPG Media Labs recently conducted an eye tracking study showing that consumers looked at native ads 53% more frequently than banners.
It’s not all rosy for native – yet. There is limited inventory that can actually support native mobile video in-stream. This is where the onus is on us as an industry to enable publishers to embrace this format, by providing clear, concise and up-to-date SDKs.