Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why 5 Second Pre-Roll + Overlay Is Not The Most Effective Video Ad Unit

Sorry MTV, but you and your experts are wrong.

According to this report out today, SVP and GM of MTV’s digital advertising unit states that 5 second pre-roll + overlay is the most effective video ad unit.

This is just another example of why you shouldn’t trust the experts. The experts will tell you that shorter is better when it comes to online video advertising.

The experts are wrong.

In this instance, they tested a 5 second pre-roll against a 30 second pre-roll.

Remember, pre-rolls are a forced view. The only way to opt-out of watching a pre-roll is to abandon the content that you originally came to see. When it comes to forced views, it is not really surprising that viewers say that shorter is better.

I don’t know how much MTV paid for this brilliant piece of insight, but chances are, much more than it was worth.

If you want to know what is truly the most effective form of video ad unit, don’t ask the experts. Ask the viewers. Better yet, you don’t even have to ask them. Just take a look at the data to see which video ad format they’re choosing to watch the most.

And, even more importantly, which video ad format they're most frequently forwarding to a friend.

Guess what? It’s not a 5 second commercial. Nope, not a 30 second commercial either. It’s usually a commercial that’s a minute in length or longer.

See for yourself.

I don’t know about you, but if I knew my commercial was forwarded to over 3,623,795 other viewers at no extra media cost to me as the advertiser, I’d say that’s pretty much the most effective video ad unit.

Regardless of the number of experts MTV hired to tell them otherwise.

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