Home Opinions Gone in 60 seconds – making a single minute matter

Gone in 60 seconds – making a single minute matter

Piero Pavone, COO and Co-Founder, MainAd
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The average consumer spends just one minute per day watching non-broadcaster online video advertising, according to Thinkbox analysis.

Initially this may sound like bad news for UK advertisers, who are apparently investing £1.9 billion in the format each year. But in today’s time-scarce world, sixty seconds of undivided user attention is incredibly valuable. Just watch the second hand tick round for a full minute and you’ll see what I mean. When digital video advertising is done well, with the right ad served to the right person at the right frequency, one minute may be more than enough time for brands to get their message across.


The long and the short of it

When we think of video advertising, we often still think in terms of 30-second plus TV commercials, simply repurposed for digital. But few consumers are willing to sit through lengthy video ads online, especially if they are using a mobile device or are viewing the ad before accessing short-form video content.

Reducing ad length while retaining key messages is vital for impactful video advertising, with one study revealing 15-second video ads are twice as effective as 30-second versions. Brands can go even further and explore ultra-short five or six-second ads. YouTube’s shorter bumper ads are so successful it recently announced a tool that automatically creates six-second videos from longer video assets.

If the average user views one minute of video advertising per day, six-second ads provide 10 distinct opportunities to reach and engage each user. Even when advertisers are using a combination of different ad lengths – perhaps introducing products or services with longer 15-second videos and then reinforcing these with shorter six-second ads – a minute provides ample time to convey key messages.


Right user, right time, right ad

To capitalise on every second of user engagement, brands need to ensure their video ads reach the right consumers when they are in the frame of mind to engage. Through advanced machine learning and data analysis, advertisers can process vast volumes of data to identify specific audience segments that are likely to be receptive to their messaging, minimising waste and ensuring positive, relevant user experiences.

One way in which you can do this is to use predictive analytics, which blends historical data and machine learning to create a mathematical model – foreseeing the future movements of a user, including how likely they are to convert. By using algorithmic techniques, combined with AI technologies, businesses can create audience segments and rank them, from the most likely to convert to the least. These segments help target your video to the most affable users, which is highly valuable when you only have 60 seconds in 24 hours.

In addition to ensuring ads reach the right audiences, advertisers can also tailor videos to the individual’s preferences, buying habits, and immediate context using dynamic advertising. Different creative elements of an ad, such as a voiceover, subtitles, or a call to action can be combined to create a personalised video, based on a variety of data points from location and time of day to user demographics and previous purchase history. With the arrival of 5G promising to accelerate connectivity, the possibilities for dynamic advertising will significantly expand.

Without data-driven targeting and personalisation, consumers could be exposed to twenty minutes of online video ads per day and still not engage with any of them. If ads are precisely targeted using data-based single instance profiling, and are tailored to the individual, a single minute of viewing time can deliver highly pertinent and engaging ad experiences.


Engagement not bombardment 

Intuitively, brands want to reach potential customers as often as possible, but this isn’t necessarily the best approach. A recent study from advertising think tank Credos reveals trust and favourability towards advertising is negatively impacted by ad bombardment, where consumers see too many ads or are repetitively exposed to the same creative.

Dynamic ads allow for tailored combinations of creative. They work by analysing user data such as location, time, date, and browser history to deliver the right ad at the right time, with hybrid ads generated that can adapt and change to suit each consumer. This process is fuelled by data and catalysed by machine learning, allowing the most basic ad to be updated with an array of colours, languages and images, as well as changing the content and serving any deals to the user depending on the advertiser’s current offers.

If consumers are only watching non-broadcaster online video ads for one minute per day, these ads will retain an originality and uniqueness rather than getting lost in the wider media consumption mêlée. Brands can test ad campaigns to determine the optimum frequency users should be exposed to their videos, to drive maximum engagement and response without being overwhelmed or alienated by repetitive messaging.

Digital video is an exceptionally effective ad format. Consumers may only watch a single minute of non-broadcaster digital video advertising per day, but as long as ads are kept to an impactful length, are targeted and personalised using data-driven insight and are delivered at the optimum frequency, advertisers can make that minute matter and ensure their brand message isn’t ‘gone in 60 seconds’.

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