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Preview: Internet TV Today : Pre-Roll Rejected? Awwww, come on...

Comments on Internet TV Today: Pre-Roll Rejected? Awwww, come on...

Updated: 2009-04-04T18:13:04.598-07:00


Brian - I didn't mean to sound dismissive but it s...


Brian - I didn't mean to sound dismissive but it seems a shame that pre-roll is still considered an effective way to advertise when features like Tivo and obvious fast-forwarding on DVDs (where this is allowed) make it clear that consumers don't want it. It's quite possible something got lost in the translation - it's been known to happen before. But I think it's the translation from one mindset to another rather than a language.

You say you'd lose friends if you sent them adverts for detergent. The point is that, although an advert, it's actually quite funny as a short film in its own right. We accept it as advertising; they have earnt the right by producing quality content (I also happen to think quite a few people would actually like this product - we don't have it here in the UK - but that's besides the point). I'm not speculating either; it's a reality. Just look at the Superbowl ads over on YouTube. Some of them have millions of views and you can bet that some of these were via word-of-mouth recommendation.

If you like short films then adverts can often represent significant achievements in their own right. Take a look at iFilm's collections of shrot videos or, in the UK,'s "Viral Videos" section. These are often adverts (in one form or another) and they're spectacular.

Most people wouldn't search for this kind of video, you're right. But most people also don't buy because of advertising full stop. They buy because their friends buy, or they have read a review, a comment, heard about it etc. WHo d othey hear from? People who DO search, pay attention, find cool stuff. Advertising isn't about reaching EVERYONE. It never was. It's about reaching the people that count within the demographic you're targeting and giving them value. Joe Marchese has the right idea about how advertising must change

Post-roll is not the solution to our problems, obviously. It's less than ideal but there are other ways. I fully expect advertising to remain the same for some time to come but its effectiveness will continue to diminish with time, even as brands continue to spend on it. Advertising has set itself up a solution for so long and TV has been the champion platform that it will take a while for other ways to be considered viable.

I get it, you are into the whole "literal thing." ...


I get it, you are into the whole "literal thing."

Agreed there is no such thing as appointment viewing anymore. The point I am making is that most people won't search for the opportunity to watch a video about detergent...ever.

I like to consider myself one of the "young people" you are speculating about and if I forwarded this spot to my friends they wouldn't remain my friends for long.

We must be losing something in the translation because you can't be saying "Its not about pre-roll. Post-roll is where its at!"

Can you?

Brian, are you serious? "Appointment Viewing"? Wha...


Brian, are you serious? "Appointment Viewing"? What is appointment viewing any more? Are you suggesting that people wouldn't go out of their way and set aside time in their day to watch "Save the Pants"? Does anyone have "appointment viewing" any more?

Ok, I'm sure this concept still exists for lots of TV viewers who set aside time to watch Friends or, as in the UK, Neighbours or Coronation Street, but if we're looking into future consumer habits, especially how young people now view video, don't we need to consider TiVo, other PVRs, IPTV, YouTube etc? If you're asking "would you record this advert on your TiVo", the question is redundant. It's on the internet; no appointment needed.

The point is not that people go out of their way to watch adverts. That's completely unrealistic. But would you send this clip to your friends for a laugh? If there's an easy little button and you've got time spare, that might well happen. The chain of viral video advertising begins. Would you mind hanging on after you've finished watching your desired movie online, to check out why there are CGI running trousers? Probably not if you knew the guy who made the video thought it was cool. Would you mind if every time you tried to watch a video you had to wait for the video to show? Yes, you'd ideally like to fast-forward.

How much better is it to "discover" a video for yourself than to have it broadcast at you? How much more do you value discovery through online search than the same information distracting you in a banner ad. The method by which the information is received is at least as important, if not more so, than the message itself.

Online video has so many more interesting ways to reach consumers than through pre-roll and ways that will be far more effective if done correctly and with respect to viewers.

Amen, Cory. The idea that consumers want free, un...


Amen, Cory. The idea that consumers want free, uninterrupted content is no surprise. However, if asked if they'd be happier living where iPods grow on trees next to streams of Dr. Pepper Berries & Cream you would likely see similar results.

It may be true that "Effective advertising in the future will be viewed by consumers because a)they are interested in the product, b)they are interested in the advert itself ." The “Save the Pants” clip proves that we’re not there yet. Great spot? Absolutely. Appointment viewing? Not so much.

I think consumers understand that someone needs to pay for the content they crave. They have demonstrated over the years that they are willing to let advertisers pick up the tab in exchange for a few seconds of their time. Someday we might arrive at the advertising utopia described above. Until then, I say roll ‘em.

Hi Cory, I've been reading your blog for a while ...


Hi Cory,I've been reading your blog for a while now and I'm usually in agreement but this hang-up on the model for video advertising is surprising. Why is pre-roll so important? There are far more effective ways to get people's attention that have already been proven to work on the internet that do not include established advertising models. How disappointing it would be if internet video had the same advertising models as we're already used to (and bored to tears with).The pre-roll ads on Metacafe and Atom Films are incredibly annoying not only because they last 15-30 seconds (which is almost as long as some of the clips themseleves) but because they are not varied enough or contextual with the clip I want to watch. Consumers don't just use YouTube because it's free, they use it because they have real choice in what to watch (or not), which includes avoiding advertising. Following consumers around sticking adverts in their face is hardly the way to create goodwill amongst your target audience and must surely be considered counterproductive. What proof is there that they work? There has been evidence that they "remember" these adverts but not in a positive light. It doesn't matter so much what the content of the advert is, it's that the consumer hasn't asked for it, hasn't chosen to view it. Effective advertising in the future will be viewed by consumers because a)they are interested in the product, b)they are interested in the advert itself (advertising as content, NOT as interruption). Anything else is surely that "half" of advertising money that John Wanamaker always said he was wasting.Models to consider are :*Contextual drop-down video adverts on the page. The scenario: you're watching a user-generated video including a song by a certain artist you've never heard of (let's say it's bunch of kids singing karaoke to it, a common YouTube video subject). To the right a text link promises: listen to the real, live version here. You position your mouse pointer over the link and a video box drops down allowing you to view it on the page (or go directly to a website). The consumer is control and the advert is offering value (rather than insisting its value). The contextual element is linked via metatext attached to the video itself as well as in-video content (such as is now able to scan). For a company looking at this, check out Nexidia.* Viral video advertising. There's no reason that advertising execs shouldn't be looking to become content providers themselves allowing a permanent position from which to launch product placement operatios etc. BMW Films did it, Dove is doing it, the Superbowl is all about ads (aren't they doing ads for those ads now?). Why bother interrupting when you can be the show itself? This is already happening but not always in the right way.*Brand your content in-stream with a watermark, logo, banner above video etc.. Forget interrupting people or annoying them with pre-roll. Just brand a worthwhile experience. With the excess of advertising clutter we are subjected to every day, the relative joy of seeing just one or two sponsors attached to an experience or product has a calming effect that cannot be ignored.*Post-roll. This is an unappealing prospect for advertisers who believe that consumers will merely stop watching after the content they've seen is done. This may be true in a lot of cases, but Revver is making a good go of it and the post-roll ads I'm seeing after ZeFrank's videos for Dove and Shout Wipes (Save the Pants is a hilarious advert-who wouldn't want those wipes?) are appealing in their own way and clearly very contextual to the content I've just seen in their tone and target audience. The key is that the advertiser can brand a video and "reward" them with the content and the option to investigate further. If the advertiser is genuinely in tune with the content and the consumer feels it's authentic, the advertiser gets kudos, attention and, if they're smart, parti[...]