Online video advertising has been predicted to become a bright spot in 2011. In the past couple of years, consumer rates of clicking on and watching video ads online grew quickly. But some new findings suggest that understanding consumer behavior with respect to online video advertising may be more complex than it seems. This news comes as  studies show fewer consumers are watching these ads to completion – a shift that will prompt advertisers to change their approach.

Reporting on studies published by DIGIDAY and Adap.tv, eMarketer analysts note that ad agencies have been  using specific metrics to measure the success of online video campaigns and they indicated the following ROI statistics at the end of last  year (on a scale of 1-4):

  • Completion rates: 3.03
  • Brand lift: 2.91
  • Click through rate: 2.33
  • Click per view: 2.02

But a more troublesome statistic has recently emerged. In 2008-2009, about 56.5% of video ads were viewed through at least 50% of the content. In 2010, that figure dropped to 45.8%, resulting in a drop of nearly 20%. These statistics appear to measure only those videos that actually engage consumers. And drops have been consistent regardless of the size of the ad. For example, leader-board ad views, at the 100% completion level, dropped substantially, from 51.5% to 26.8%.

Emarketer analysts attribute the drop to a variety of causes:

  • Increase in length of video ad
  • Change in video ad creative aspect
  • Viewers are desensitized to a delivery vehicle that was once considered unique

Marketers may want to turn to the best performing video ad formats to connect with consumers. For now, those formats include large rectangles and skyscraper banners. Analysts also note that using a watched-to-completion metric to measure campaign success may be a flawed model in terms of measuring ROI. As the online video ad model matures, new measurement metrics may come into play.

[Source: In-Banner Video Sees Slip in View-to-Completion Rates. Emarketer.com. 3 Mar. 2011. Web. 14 Mar. 2011]