Advertising is evolving as the big screen and PC become one

As more and more people are viewing video content online, the line between TV and online is beginning to blur. comScore’s recently published statistics for online video viewing and ad exposure in Europe reveals the biggest growth in video ad consumption is in the UK where 80% of Brits saw an online video in January 2012: and of these 64 percent were exposed to video ads, twice as many as the previous January.

This dynamic upward trend is attributed to the availability of high speed broadband enabling viewers to stream video en masse. Consumers are now accustomed to searching for content from VOD to YouTube. In addition with the rise of homes connecting their TV’s to the Internet, the TV screen and PC screen are becoming indistinguishable.

This trend excites digital marketers with the expansion of their creative budgets. The possibilities are endless. Video content from TV advertising can now be shown in many more places in online advertising, which is a key reason we’re now seeing far richer video in the ads on websites. For example, banner advertising is increasingly video rich, with formats of ads that can show online viewers the sort of creative that they’d be used to seeing on TVs. With more use of video content on websites as a whole, we’re seeing more use of instream ads – that show viewers a TV style ad just before the content they’ve requested. But it goes further than a TV experience: online can be more interactive or can link the video creative with companion creative in other spaces on the page, enabling the user to interact and explore the brand without leaving the website.

These opportunities are increasing, too. For example, more and more news content is becoming video-based online, which is providing ample opportunities to provide in-stream video ads. The ability for targeting specific users against such content will become increasingly more prevalent although as news can often be sensitive in nature, advertisers will face new challenges to get this right to protect brands and ensure the message of the ad is sensitive to the story being told.

Beyond transforming the web into a TV experience by embedding more and more video, the next stage will be synchronizing the big screen with mobile devices enabling viewers to engage with two screens simultaneously. The companion device in the viewer’s hand, such as a Smart Phone or Tablet interacts with the TV ad carries on the story line enabling the user to have a deeper brand experience. This has multiple sponsorship opportunities, where each product placement on a main screen could push a trigger to a secondary portable screen to discover more about the product offering.

However in addition to the amazing creative opportunities, this changing market landscape is creating new challenges for marketers and content creators, or buyers and distributors.

Content producers are being targeted by a new wave of distributors, such as Google and YouTube. Established TV companies need to look for new ways to maintain the premium value where there is a wave of consumers seeking alternative more convenient online methods for getting video entertainment.

From the TV side, there can be more effective usage data to measure how well a campaign is performing including its ROI. This additional accountability could change the way TV spots are purchased and could ultimately squeeze the margins of both agencies and broadcaster/publishers.

Consumers are hungry for the next thing. Technology doesn’t stand still. Although we can pride ourselves on being innovative, there are still issues that must be addressed to ensure the profitability and accountability are maintained for the future growth of media.

As published on Huffington Post