Online video advertising is part of the user’s viewing experience as much as the content itself, even though sometimes the user forgets that advertising is an experience on its own. The goal behind advertising is to create a pleasant and engaging experience to users, keeping content intact and getting the reaction and the interaction without being overly intrusive.
When talking about online video advertising, there are two main categories of formats: pre, mid and post-roll - “Linear” ad units that run before, between or after the video content; and overlays – “In-stream” ad units that appear over the video content. Online video commercials are inherently disruptive of content, especially when compared to contextual text ads, as they normally cannot be skipped and take the user away from what they’d really like to do or see online.
Therefore, it seems clear that ads that appear before or after the content, like standard linear ads (pre/mid/post rolls), will naturally have more engagement and CTR , even though this kind of advertising usually drives the user to a passive view. While overlays are considered the “wicked witch of the west”: right there, in the middle of the content, this kind of ad incites the user for interaction rather than relying on to make an impact.
But what is an Overlay Ad? A small, semi-transparent overlay across the screen (usually on the bottom, but can be anywhere) of an online video, similar to what is seen during TV shows. These ads usually show up 15 seconds into the videos they’re on, last for 10 seconds and some can be minimized by the viewer.
Like banner ads, overlays can be clicked to play an ad or jump to an offer page. Compared to the “standard” (pre/mid/post-roll) commercial breaks, viewers generally prefer overlay ads – as they are less intrusive.
But the yellow brick road is not made of gold and overlays as an advertising method are not totally free from faults: after a while publishers and advertisers started to notice that they tend to obstruct the underlying video with long, fixed-scheme lines that darken the bottom portion of the video and shuffle the information. In exchange for scalability superior to that of regular advertising spots, overlays put down the actual content and usually might lower the user experience.
In response to these serious concerns regarding ad overlays, the online video industry is currently undergoing an evolution. As more and more people consume video content online, there is a greater need to balance advertising with viewing experience. The problem is amplified in videos that use specifically the bottom area to show important information, such as subtitles, scores, stock quotes, news headlines, etc. New advertising solutions have arisen with a mission to solve the faults of overlay advertising.
Artimedia is revealing a revolutionary approach to solve these issues, with its new ad format – SmartOverlay™. Last year, in September 2012, Artimedia launched one of its most revolutionary video ad formats - SmartOverlay™.
SmartOverlay™ displays overlay video ads without interfering with video contents anytime. Like Overlay, SmartOverlay™ displays banner ads at the bottom of the video screen. However, upon displaying the ad, video playback is adapted to maintain the whole viewing section intact above the ad itself, automatically resuming to its original size upon completion. This approach enables to leverage the simplicity of in-stream banner ads, while achieving better engagement without compromising viewing experience.
Artimedia is enabling SmartOverlay™ format, exclusively through its advanced video advertising platform – Advision. Built from the grounds up for video, Advision combines a robust video ad server, a massive media inventory accessible through optimized real time bidding, an unparalleled set of unique content-synchronized video ad formats, and easy to use campaign management for automated performance optimization.
Get to know better Advision and Artimedia and try an unique user/advertising/content experience.
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