How to Make Effective Online Video Ads

Dynamic Logic Study Looks Into What Works

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Online video ads, a more accountable, relevant version of TV commercials, are going to save the marketing industry, right? Not so fast, warns Dynamic Logic.
Online video ads that are most effective can't be described without naming the brand that they are advertising, like these Apple ads.
Online video ads that are most effective can't be described without naming the brand that they are advertising, like these Apple ads.

It seems intuitive, but there's a huge difference in effectiveness depending on the ad, the web-research firm reports. The top-performing ads can lead to a 37.8% lift in ad awareness while the bottom-performing ads barely registered any increase. And creating that online-ad awareness is the first step to moving the needle on other kinds of metrics, including message association, brand favorability and purchase intent.

Tested 108 ads
The survey -- which measured consumer reaction to 108 different video ads in several different categories, including entertainment, consumer package goods and automotive -- polled 125,733 respondents.

So what worked? The top-performing ads had several things in common.

The brand was central to the creative. While a funny, brand-irrelevant spot might fly in the Super Bowl, it certainly doesn't bear well for making an impact online. A good test of this, according to the report, is that it should be difficult for a viewer to describe the ad without mentioning the brand.

The best ads also used the interactive nature of the web, offering up links to additional information. A food marketer might, for example, link to nutritional information, coupons or a social-media-inspired recipe-sharing site.

Smooth transition to offline
And finally, the top online video ads seemed to fit within the offline campaigns and made use of a static companion ad while the video was playing.

The least effective ads, which weren't necessarily engaging or relevant, also shared some traits. Often it wasn't clear what exactly was being advertised and marketers may not have considered that many people don't turn on the sound on their computers -- meaning that a punch line or catchy jingle wouldn't register with all viewers.
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