Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tips and specifications for effective pre-roll video ads

Praetorian Group has always aimed to lead the way when it comes to new ways to reach the public safety audience online, so we’re excited to introduce pre-roll video ads to our inventory and thought we’d share our experience and the parameters we’ve developed.

Pre-roll video ads are one of the strongest online ad formats available. A 2008 study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that pre-roll ad placements perform particularly well for unaided brand awareness, online ad awareness and tagline association.

In our initial tests, we’ve seen much stronger clickthrough rates (CTRs) than static banner image placements. For example, our most basic banners average .2 to .5 percent click through rates, whereas our preroll video ads have been 1.60 to 2.63 percent – in other words they can be literally more than 10 times as effective in terms of CTRs.

When it comes to length, we strongly recommend 15-second units, which were found in the study to be the optimal length for brand association, ease of understanding and most efficient with the highest level of engagement.

“In the pre-roll placement, the 15-second unit performed optimally not only managing to increase awareness measures over control but also impacting positive brand associations,” the IAB study found. “While the 30-second creative performed well, in a pre-roll placement it actually deterred viewers from shopping and distanced them from the key communication. In other words, good creative was hurt by bad placement.”

Based on our research, testing and player setup, we recommend advertisers follow these specs for their pre-roll videos:

File format:
 Quicktime (.mov, .gt, .mp4, .3gp), MPEG (.mpg, .mpeg, .mp2), Window Media (.wmv), AVI (.avi)

Aspect ratio:

Spot Length:
 15 seconds or less

Bit rate:
 Greater than 2Mbps

Clickthrough URL:
 Provide the URL which users will be redirected to upon clicking on the video screen.

In addition, we recommend advertisers consider using a call to action in their video to direct users to click on the video screen as not all users may be aware of this functionality.

With studies singing praises of online video boosting purchase intentrecall levels and effectiveness over banner ads, it’s easy to see why advertisers in the online space are moving more of their budgets into video advertising.