In today’s dynamic media world, it’s asking a lot of someone to watch a video ad from beginning to end. Even in the traditional TV environment, commercial breaks are often the time to switch on the kettle, take personal break or press the fast-forward button on the DVR.
Whether in TV or on the web, getting and keeping the attention of viewers demands strong creative, delivered to the right audience and in the right context, otherwise you’ll find audiences tune out in short order. On the web, not being in the right place at the right time often means lower engagement with video ads, with people off the page before they’ve had a chance to absorb your message.
Which is why a recent analysis of video ads viewed in Southeast Asia is highly encouraging. Looking at data from Q4 2013, there are indications that the activation of technology and data is helping to bring better advertising experiences to the fore in the region, with engagement metrics higher than in other global markets. In Singapore, for instance, more than eight out of every 10 video ads were viewed to completion in the quarter, an astonishingly high number that outpaces the industry average.
Further, the ability for online video to build brands is an important message for advertisers to take heed, especially those who may still have the mindset that digital advertising exists only to drive online sales. This bore out in both Thailand and Indonesia, where completion rates were very high for consumer-packaged goods (CPG), products most likely bought at the supermarket than on the web. Click-through rates (CTR) were lower than other verticals, and proved to be less important than the ability to convey a full brand message.
That’s not to say CTR does not lead people down the sales path, which digital advertising will always have over traditional TV. The Philippines saw a huge spike in government and not-for-profit advertising late last year, driven by natural disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan and its aftermath. Online video was able to engage an audience with a high video completion rate together with a CTR of 23 per cent. That’s not a typo – 23 per cent, driven by local interest in relief assistance. It’s clear web video provided the immediacy and direct action needed to provide help and awareness in the region.
Similarly, Vietnam showed impressive growth in video advertising, particularly in the realm of business. Business services was the vertical that captured the largest share of video ad dollars, with engagement outpacing conventional display advertising and completion rates at or above the industry average.
These numbers indicate that Southeast Asia is clearly on a similar path seen in other hyper-growth regions, where video advertising is driving a blend of brand and tactical campaigns. While TV still has its place in reaching a set of viewers, regional advertisers should look hard at online video’s ability to more accurately target and to complete the loop with audiences that are migrating to online, mobile and other connected devices. For major campaigns you need both, but planners should look carefully at how they split the budget for maximum impact.