Short messages to large audiences.
And, long messages to small audiences.
The former relies on intrusion, which media calls reach.
The latter relies on opting-in, which media calls search.
The industry has been going on for some time now about the differences between intrusive versus opt-in video advertising.
But it really comes down to something quite basic: short messages to large audiences versus long messages to small audiences.
To keep it simple, we distinguish between the two by calling them Reach Advertising and Search Advertising.
Surprisingly, the big difference between the two isn’t the size of the audience. Or, the length of the message.
The defining difference is simply this:
With Reach Advertising, intent is driven by the advertiser.
With Search Advertising, intent is driven by the consumer.
Which is why Reach Advertising needs to be created differently than Search Advertising.
But even more importantly, it's why Reach Advertising needs to be measured differently than Search Advertising.
Reach Advertising is currently measured by how many. After all, it’s about short messages to large audiences.
Search Advertising should be measured by how long. After all, it’s about long messages to small audiences.
Both types of video advertising are important because both serve different functions. We would argue that Reach Advertising is best used to drive people to Search Advertising.
And, that Search Advertising is best used to drive people to a sale.
The problem is that we currently measure both types of advertising the same way — through audience size or how many. Doing so always portrays Search Advertising as lacking.
Which, in the long run, hurts sales.
After all, in the real world, sales aren’t driven by the intent of the advertiser. Sales are driven by the intent of the consumer.
Which means we need to start giving credence to how long people spend with brands through advertising, rather than just how many are exposed to brands through advertising.
In other words, we need to stop reaching for old solutions, and start searching for new truths.