There is no denying that video ads are all over the internet. Surf the web for more than ten minutes and you are bound to run across a few video ads telling you about an upcoming product or a new finance option at your local Dodge dealer. It should come as no surprise that over $2 billion was spent on online video advertising last year, making it a viable contender to the once dominant TV advertising model. While many companies have a death grip on their TV advertising budgets, there are some that have begun the slow transition to online video ads.
It would be naïve to say online video ads will make TV obsolete, but one thing that the online market has going for it is the potential for interactivity. Currently, online video ads are measured by views or clicks (when applicable), which is a less than ideal situation. Companies are interested in targeting specific audiences, creating meaningful engagement, and being able to analyze a direct correlation between sales/spending and brand lift. The solution? Interactive entertainment with incentive advertising.
Creating a level of interactivity to an online video ad takes the consumer from being an observer to an active participant. Adding incentives into the interactivity not only motivates the consumer to participate, but will keep them coming back. This process creates an environment where consumers learn about products that pique their interest, and gives them a reward for their actions with exclusive deals. Now companies have a way to directly influence consumer behavior with time sensitive promotions for online or retail sales. More importantly, for each interactive product there is a way to track engagement, increasing the functionality of an online video advertisement. No longer are companies reliant on simple views or clicks. Each individual product can be tracked for level of engagement, how many different aspects of the product were engaged with, and even which parts of a product most consumers gravitate toward.
Below is a sample of an interactive online video with incentive advertising that showcases product placement in a sitcom. Each individual article of clothing can be interacted with and allows for a consumer to learn more or to purchase from a website. Not only does this form of interaction allow for individual tracking of items, it also will track how many purchases were made from watching the video.