Why Video is Entering a New Age in 2021

  • Date 28th May 2021
  • Author Martin Ciarrocca
Why Video is Entering a New Age in 2021

Video consumption has never seen such accelerated growth. While this is mainly thanks to changes in technology, COVID-19 undoubtedly had a huge impact as people turned to digital for almost everything. These shifts in consumer media behaviour led to unprecedented levels of video adoption, as well as redefining what, how and why we watch.

The increase in content creation sources, as well as delivery and consumption platforms, drove never-before-seen numbers of video views across Australia. Over 17 million Australians were streaming video each month, with an average view time of over 42 hours per month.

The changing role of video

Investing in traditional TV has always been, by definition, the best medium if you want to get your brand in front of a mass audience. But, as video has evolved, it’s begun to take on new roles, opening up the possibilities for advertisers to use the medium in new ways. With the introduction and broad adoption of CTV (Connected TV) and OTT (Over-the-top) advertising, we now have a way to reach specific niche audiences and serve TV-like commercial ads in an incredibly cost-efficient way.

Online video has become a crucial tool for advertisers in recent years as adoption continues to accelerate. In 2020, video advertising represented over half of the total digital display expenditure, reaching $1.9 billion in Australia alone. This translated into a 17% YoY increase.

Source: IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) prepared by PWC; PWC Entertainment and Media Outlook 2020-2023

Video streaming is booming. Before the pandemic, video was gaining traction as the preferred way to enjoy content. Even with the post-pandemic resurgence of TV, the popularity of digital still continues to grow parallel.   

Younger audiences are increasing time spent consuming online video, leaving barely any time for traditional TV. While older audiences are showing a more balanced use, but still with strong adoption of on-demand programmes and a reduction of time spent on traditional TV. As a consequence, there’s a clear need for advertisers and marketers to consider online video to complement their traditional TV buy.

Thanks to the wide variety of digital video types and formats available, marketers are starting to embrace video as more than purely an awareness channel. They’re showing greater willingness to test new objectives and are achieving incremental growth from driving intent or even sales.

Connected TV offers brands a rich means to integrate both brand creativity and sales opportunities into the advertising mix. Brands can now interact with consumers beyond video ads, enabling consumers to flow through the path to purchase and take action through “Learn more” and “Buy now” links. 

The importance of comprehensive analysis of video activity

A recent study carried out by the IAB showed that while agencies focus on brand lift surveys as the most important tool for assessing the effectiveness of video advertisements, advertisers are more interested in creative testing.    

However, the study also showed marketers rely more on campaign delivery to assess campaign success as opposed to brand KPIs. In fact, while 81% of marketers are using digital video advertising to increase brand awareness, only 38% are using brand awareness lift to judge the effectiveness of their efforts. 

We believe delivery and effectiveness metrics should be used in tandem, not only to demonstrate media planning success but also to demonstrate the impact the campaign had on marketing objectives.

  Agency Marketers
Focus Brand Health Creative Testing
Success Measurement Brand KPIs Campaign Delivery
'81% of marketers use digital video to increase brand awareness'

'38% of marketers use brand awareness uplift to measure campaign success'

Personalised brand stories

Brands effectively using video to engage consumers with personalised video advertising by leveraging user data. In fact, this is one of the best ways to connect with your audience using video. Personalised video has been shown to increase levels of attention over conventional videos. According to a Google study, ads served with intent signals have 20% higher recall lift and 50% higher brand awareness lift compared to ads served with demographic targeting alone. 

A great example of customised online video is the “Your Year with Nike+” campaign, in which user data was utilised to beautifully execute and deliver customised videos. Nike used member data to create 100,000 personalised animated videos to motivate athletes to ‘outdo’ themselves. Each video was personalised using data on location, weather and movement. 

Fit-for-purpose creative

How impactful is your creative? Video creative is a fundamental driver of campaign effectiveness. The difference between average creative and strong, impactful creative can be significant, yet you’d be surprised by how the smallest changes can improve a video ad’s performance significantly. 

IAB’s Attitudes to Digital Video Report shows that optimal creative is customised specifically to the media and is well-integrated across media. Therefore, for the 37% of agencies that rarely or never develop digital video advertising creative for the specific media environment, there is a significant opportunity to improve the effectiveness of digital video creative.

Source: IAB Australia Attitudes to Digital Video Advertising Report 2021 (agency n=174, brand/advertiser n=29). Q -How often does your company/client develop creative executions for Digital Video advertising campaigns for different environments and different target segments?

In order to craft optimised videos that resonate well with the target audience, marketers need to have a solid understanding of how the medium works. A great example of this was AFFINITY’s work with Fisher & Paykel. With a mix of brand impact and conversion objectives, Fisher & Paykel developed “The Beauty of Choice” video series, using an unskippable YouTube ad format. They created video ads that prioritised brand elements throughout, and when combined with AFFINITY’s intent signal data to target people in the market, were able to achieve extraordinary results.

The world hasn’t seen as disruptive a change in media consumption as we did in 2020. As a result, online video is playing a key (and growing) role in the media mix, thanks to its ability to reach audiences, cost effectively. Impactful creative that’s customised and utilises everything the medium has to offer, like personalisation, can further improve campaign effectiveness. And while brand awareness is still the predominant objective among advertisers and marketers, video is proving to be more than just a one-trick pony. If you’d like some advice on how you can better optimise your use of video, get in touch at hello@affinity.ad