Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Commercial Intrusion Factor: 16%

According to the recent TubeMogul study, 16% of online viewers click away from pre-roll video ads.

This means they leave during the commercial, abandoning the content that they actually wanted to see.

To some, this number is manageable. Hell, what’s 16%? No doubt some thought this number would be even higher.

High or low, what this number seems to represent is what I call the “Intrusion Factor.” Intrude on what someone has come to see and 16% of viewers will abandon ship, period.

This 16% has little to do with a commmercial’s relevancy. Which means that it has little to do with behavioral targeting. Or, anything else for that matter.

All it truly measures is intrusion.

As we mentioned awhile back, it’s not so much commercials per se that people are trying to avoid as it is interruptions or intrusions that are caused by commercials.

In other words, it’s not the content that’s the problem as much as it is the placement. Behavioral targeting tries to tie content to audience. Perhaps the behavior that they should be most concerned with is placement.

The rub lies in the fact that the job of the media agency is to sell impressions, not involvement. Whether people hang around to actually watch the commercial is of little concern to the media agency.

If media agencies recommend commercials that don’t intrude, the number of actual click—ins, or impressions, will then be measurable. Obviously, this number is much lower. Which makes the client unhappy. So media agencies keep recommending pre-roll.

What marketers need to consider is that if a viewer does click-in, it means that there is some relevance, at least in the eyes of the viewer. How long they stay involved in the commercial depends on how well the commercial is crafted.

The option for marketers is to consider the amount of time they capture from each viewer, rather than the amount of impressions they buy from the media agency. Impressions have little to do with actual viewer time spent.

Logic seems to indicate that the more time spent with a brand, the greater inclined the viewer might be to buy the product.

What marketers know now is how many impressions a $5 million buy will get them. What they don’t know is how much time spent with the brand that same $5 million bought them.

Now that they also know that 16% of viewers are opting out, maybe they'll become a little more curious in regards to the latter.

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