Young Men Don't Mind Pre-Roll Ads After All

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OK, so maybe pre-roll isn't as bad as people made it out to be. Maybe, in fact, it can be pretty good. But not all pre-roll is created equal, finds a study from Break Media and Panache.

The pair of companies, on the heels of the Interactive Advertising Bureau's designating 12 online video ad standards, tested the four most-talked-about standard video units: a 15-second pre-roll ad, a 15-second pre-roll ad with a call to action, an ad that ran just above the video and an overlay ad that ran over the bottom third of the video.

What did they find? That 87% of people stuck out the pre-roll ads, and click-through rate was 10% on the ad without the call to action and 11% to 35% higher on the one with the call to action.

What seems most astounding is that 87% of people stuck around through a pre-roll before content that is short-form and youth-oriented. Young guys, who make up the meat of Break's demographic, are logically the least tolerant of advertising.

When asked about that surprising figure, Keith Richman, Break's CEO, said it suggests people really want to see content.

The non-overlay ad saw a disappointing 0.08% click-through rate -- not much better than a display ad. But the overlay ad had five times that.

A few other interesting lessons: Bright, primary colors resulted in high click-through rates, in some cases three times as high. And making the entire ad clickable increased click-through rates by a factor of four.

Of course, the big challenge remains actually getting the creative in these formats, said Mr. Richman. But, he added, "The value of standards is hopefully everyone will soon be doing them."
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