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Think BR: Just add video

TV and online video are the perfect partners, writes Bruce Daisley, director, YouTube and display UK at Google.

Bruce Daisley, director, YouTube and display UK at Google

Bruce Daisley, director, YouTube and display UK at Google

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Last week, the IAB trumpeted the strong return to growth of digital display advertising in the second half of 2010.

One of the impressive sub-stories was the substantial rise of online video advertising; this sector nearly doubled in size.

Of course Tess at Thinkbox would remind us that this is only a fraction of the money spent on video advertising - it’s just that most video advertising is on telly.

I completely agree. The more the two are seen as parts of the same whole, the better. TV and online video really are perfect complements.  


Viewing patterns of TV and online video are strongly interwoven.

Aside from YouTube, the biggest online video platform is the marvellous BBC iPlayer.

The average iPlayer viewer watches 17 minutes of content per month.

This may initially be surprising but is consistent with other VOD sites and suggests that the online viewing experience (while VOD remains on our laptops rather than on our Enormotron 48" plasma screens) is using the web to watch short-form content, or parts of episodes.  

This means that TV and VOD are very different experiences, and suggests that the VOD channel will add more reach to your TV campaigns as people are viewing to catch-up on what they haven’t seen on the big screen.

Advertisers are clearly fascinated by this idea; our most frequently asked question of 2010 was, "how can we measure the incremental reach of online video?"

At YouTube we started exploring what this complementary effect really was, and over the last 12 months we’ve found comprehensive evidence of how well TV and online video work together.

During the World Cup last year, Samsung discovered they could increase the reach of their ABC1 men TV activity from 65% to 69% by adding YouTube to the campaign - a strong reminder that TV remains formidable but that the addition of online video can help to effectively reach light TV viewers.

Another FMCG advertiser found last month that YouTube pre-roll video was able to shift their mainshopper reach from 65% to 68% with a short-campaign.

Interestingly, for a part of the medium that is often styled as luxuriously priced, this reach was added at 70% the cost of TV.  

As the spend figures show, advertisers are starting to find this addition to their TV campaigns appealing: online video ads can use the same television creative and can share the same tone of voice as their TV work.  

Of course some advertisers are starting to consider that the medium might achieve even more by being treated slightly differently and are exploring how they can improve their online results.

We’ve been delighted with the response to YouTube’s new skippable ad format. This format allows viewers to skip an ad that they don’t think is right for them.

It's something of a win-win: advertisers only pay for the ads that aren’t skipped. The best results with this format have come from ads which have thought about the unique one-to-one communication that online video allows.

2010 saw great growth from online video. With further evidence of how well it works alongside TV, I suspect this growth may well carry on through 2011.

TV advertisers are learning that they can get even better results by just adding online video.

Bruce Daisley,  director, YouTube and display UK at Google


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