Harnessing the power of video advertising in Asia

Katherine McHugh, demand facilitation director, JAPAC, at SpotX, considers what brand advertisers across Asia are missing in terms of video advertising. 

The art of advertising is entrenched in a marketer’s ability to read trends and create marketing campaigns that capture what users want to watch, read and talk about. With about 83 per cent of online consumers in Southeast Asia watching online videos every day, marketers are incentivized to shift their attention to create video ad campaigns that will reach consumers wherever and whenever they are consuming content.

Truth be told, some brands across Asia understand the value that programmatic video offers but are still figuring out how to dive in and execute their video campaigns more strategically. This was very clear across many of the discussions our Asian team had with B2C brands at the recent Digital Masterclassing Event in Singapore. The event covered many of the core digital themes including search, social media and content marketing and we discussed “How Brands Can Ride The Online Video Wave.”

Our managing director for Asia, Gavin Buxton, presented the case for why more Asian brands should be utilizing online video, followed by deeper roundtable discussions on the same topic with myself. This was a great way to learn more about the current levels of understanding within each of the companies and what they are currently doing with video advertising, and to better understand some of roadblocks that are getting in their way.

Some brands are well down the path in terms of owning a strong video ad strategy, some are driven by their global teams, with global purchasing the Asian media and little input on the ad creative running locally, and some still have little understanding of how video advertising works. This made for some insightful discussions between all the different participants who were at different stages in understanding video advertising. We attacked the topic from many different angles and we all walked away with some great insights and new learnings.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to video advertising. There are different KPIs to align with different goals, and what might be considered “brand-safe” by one company may be deemed unsavoury by another. Still, there were a number of key themes that arose from our discussions. Here are some of our insights and learnings:

Brand video KPIs – one size does not fit all
Video is one of the best ways to build brand awareness thanks to the long-lasting, meaningful relationship that advertisers are able to forge with their target audiences.

Brand safety and transparency
Brand safety issues have highlighted the risk factors of buying inventory based solely on low prices. Digital video is about ensuring that your brand message is relevant; at the right time, in the right place and highly targeted. Remember: if you’re seeing inventory at a price that seems too good to be true, it likely is.

TV commercials are being repurposed for digital
Creating a TV ad requires a heavy investment, so it’s not surprising that marketers want to get as much value as possible. Even so, advertisers need to create ads that are optimized for digital audiences who consume video on a variety of devices differently than they would on TV. Compatible formats for digital video ads differ depending on the environment, and optimal ad length may vary. While it may be tempting to simply recycle TV ads in digital video, it’s better to design ads that are suited to the digital environment.

Programmatic video: not just for remnant inventory
Programmatic advertising has advanced significantly over the last several years, delivering increased efficiency across the spectrum of digital advertising formats thanks to its ability to inform buys with data. With the rise of programmatic direct and private exchanges, all kinds of inventory can now be sold programmatically, including coveted “premium” placements that had previously been exclusively for certain bidders. The majority of publishers now sell their inventory programmatically, whether it be mobile, video, native, and now even TV.

What should the CTR be for video campaigns?
Measuring the effectiveness of digital video campaigns can be a minefield, as there are different KPIs to consider. Different advertisers might prefer to use CVR (completed view rate), others may prefer to track reach and frequency against a target audience, clickthrough rate or various post-view metrics. There is no right answer, it just depends on what you are trying to achieve with your campaigns.

Are CPMs lower if we buy programmatically?
On the surface, buying low-cost or bulk video inventory (especially in a non-transparent fashion) may seem like a cost saving. However, if those ads aren’t actually seen by anyone, the question is, did you get any value? At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Quality video content is expensive to produce and TV-quality inventory is now being transacted programmatically. The more premium and highly desirable the inventory, the higher the CPM is going to be.

The OTT (over-the-top) opportunity for brands
Definition: video consumption via the public internet outside of multi video player device such as a Play Station or SingTelTVT= Video consumption via the
According to the Asia Pacific OTT Video & Delivery Forecast 2017 to 2012 report, today there are 97m individual OTT subscribers in the world’s most populous region (APAC), a figure which is expected to rise to 200m by the year 2021.

For advertisers and brands, the premium TV-like OTT environment presents a number of unique advantages. An ad served in OTT delivers actionable data insights, ensuring much sharper targeting for the marketer. The consumer is served a more relevant offer, which in turn increases efficiency for the campaign. Using first-party data will help brands reach the right audience segments and brands have full control over what message is to be sent to which audience segment. In addition, OTT can deliver incremental reach to consumers who aren’t represented in broadcast channels, and connected TV completion rates are among the highest digitally.

The rise in cross-device video consumption in this region shows that the viewing habits of Asian consumers are evolving. Brands must not ignore programmatic video advertising and OTT if they plan to compete on a larger scale. To tap into the growth trajectory in video consumption in Asia, talk to SpotX today!