How ad performance increases when video and context combine

Posted on: Tuesday 26 November 2019 | Will Black - Director, Business Development at Video Intelligence

Comparative research on the impact of contextual placement of video ads shows measurable positive effects, explains Will Black, Managing Director of video intelligence AG

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You only have to look at the combination of clear metrics and emotional engagement to grasp the value of video advertising. So it’s hardly news that video is a key channel when brands seek to connect with consumers. Yet not all videos are created equal, and while the quality of clips certainly plays a big role, there’s another highly influential factor with a remarkable impact on the success of video advertising: context.

Pre-roll ads in a contextual editorial environment
When video ads are served contextually, they will be streamed in the context of editorial content. Keyword-based targeting has long been an effective means of targeting audiences, and thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, matching video content and the surrounding editorial content of sites is undergoing a rapid development. The result is that pre-rolls can be placed before videos that clearly combine with the editorial context. This is an interesting option for brands seeking to target audiences – and there’s no need to track data in a privacy-sensitive way.

How we tested the impact of context on video ads
That said, the claim of a positive impact of contextual video versus merely rolling out clips regardless of the content around them needs to be substantiated. We at video intelligence have done just that, comparing what happens when a video clip is placed in the matching context with a clip that runs no matter what kind of articles are displayed around it. We worked with Lumen, a London-based research company, to see what happens. Lumen eye-tracked 200 users seeing a clip for M&M’s and later interviewed these consumers for recall surveys.

Better dwell-times, page recall and ad effectiveness
The research shows remarkable positive effects – and not only for advertisers:

  • The dwell time on sites increased by 33% when the test audience was served contextual video, which is particularly good news for publishers

  • The effectiveness of advertising went up significantly: Real reach increased from 50% to 71% with contextual video

  • Remarkably, the brand M&M was also seen much more positively when the video matched the editorial context: the emotions and values identified with M&M’s were seen measurably more positively

  • Publishers can expect a halo effect from contextual video, as positive sentiment increased by 83% on pages with contextual video

We are confident that these positive aspects of contextual video can be upheld beyond this case study. The research shows that, for advertisers and publishers, context makes a big difference. It enhances crucial page metrics, which is important as publishers seek to monetise their channels. And it helps advertisers boost ad performance. In the long run, the advances of machine learning and the challenges to cookie tracking will add important arguments for opening up to the benefits of contextual video.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Will Black on T: +44 07910 067188 E:

Written by

Will Black

Director, Business Development at Video Intelligence

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