The Case For Better YouTube Ads

In Customer Engagement, Featured on App, Social media by Vaughn Highfield

Nail Puppy YouTube

Why are we doing pre-roll wrong?

YouTube is, undoubtedly, the best way for a brand to share video adverts with consumers. It’s also a pretty powerful tool for reaching new audiences thanks to its heavy advertising presence in both banner and pre-roll adverts. The trouble is, pre-roll is just so tempting to click on from. In fact, I think the only pre-roll adverts that keep me watching tend to be Google or YouTube ones – largely because they know how to use their own platform best.

Research shows that 94 per cent of pre-roll ads get skipped shortly after the first five painfully unskippable seconds.

It’s a problem I’ve spoken about in the past on Total Customer, but now it seems that ad agency Nail from Providence, RI, has also caught onto the fact that so many brands just haven’t a clue about how to make the most of YouTube’s advertising systems.

Writing on it’s YouTube video, Nail explains that “as marketers, it’s time we change the way we do YouTube preroll.

“The current model seems to be to simply throw your TV commercial in front of any video a loosely defined demographic happens to be watching.

“What a missed opportunity. The skip rates are unbelievable (94 percent is a generous estimate). And when there is no skip button, you can practically feel the resentment oozing through the Internet. Hardly the temperament most brands want to inspire from their customers, right?”

It’s true, so many customers do just want to get ads out of the way and see what they actually came for. It’s an accepted barrier to entry, but they know they can skip it after just 5 arduous seconds have passed, and when they can’t it’s time to find another video or to turn the sound off until the advert passes.

And ads can be so much smarter, while Nail’s advert decided to hold a puppy ransom, the potential for customised content is immense.

“Think about what we know at that moment: we know what they’re going to watch, we know what they just Googled, we know where they are, we know what device they are watching on, heck, we know they can skip the ad,” continues the post under Nail’s YouTube video. “All of this information is an opportunity to customize a message that respects the viewer and the platform.

“We need to stop re-purposing content designed for other channels and start taking advantage of the amazing abilities YouTube is throwing at us…

“YouTube ads should be designed for YouTube. They should use the tools and features given to us and interact with the user and the platform in a way that can’t be rivalled. They should be self-aware. They should talk to one person at a time.”

It all makes complete sense, however the method Nail picked – which was essentially threatening a puppy – probably isn’t how your brand should capture viewer attention.