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Creating Branded Entertainment with Interactive Video Ads

The power of digital video has evolved beyond simply the big three sensory drivers of audience engagement: sight, sound, and motion. It’s now necessary to add a fourth component of interaction. Just as video has evolved, so has its audiences. Anything less than clickable, tappable, personalized, in-the-moment experiences has become subpar to audiences who, today, are consuming content on many different types of screens. The interactivity invites audiences to engage with brands and become part of the video experience.

The best way to attract viewers towards the opportunity for additional engagement is to add an interactive component to an otherwise static pre-roll video. The user experience will vary based on the advertiser’s campaign goals like whether they’re simply looking to increase the amount of time spent with the viewer or if they are seeking more tangible responses, such as content downloads and clicks.

Regardless of the device, the options of what can be added to a single pre-roll ad without the viewer ever leaving the ad unit are endless: product features, games, extended content, social media, “buy now” buttons—you name it.

How are brands using interactive video ads?

Brands are using interactive video by integrating the most commonly sought after information and content such as social media feeds, store locators, additional video content, product try-ons, etc. directly within their videos. This keeps viewers increasingly engaged and drives on-the-spot action, regardless of the device. Bringing the experience to customers, as opposed to vice versa, situates them firmly in the driver’s seat. For example:

  • Auto brands may offer viewers an opportunity to virtually “test drive” their new models or get a 360° view of all of the car’s features.
  • A retailer may use search history data to offer reviews and product information or promote specific products based on known demand.
  •   A QSR chain may offer real-time discounts and deals to drive customers to their nearby location to try new menu options or take advantage of time-sensitive promotions, like a late-night deal or early-bird special.
  • A movie studio may use create interactive trailers to promote their upcoming features where audiences can explore behind-the-scenes footage in a video gallery or buy tickets to their nearest theater with an in-video map.
  • A financial institution may provide an in-unit map that shows local establishments where audiences can earn double the points with preferred credit cards.

How does this create value for brands?

Unlike with traditional ads, viewers are not only watching interactive video ads to completion, they are also voluntarily spending an average of 44 seconds more with brands and their content—which equates to over two full ads.

Interactive video ads help brands achieve the best of both worlds: targeted content, followed by engaging, customized experiences. Additionally, they give brands metrics that were previously unattainable, such as activity rate, awareness, time earned etc.

The goal shouldn’t be to trick audiences into thinking advertising is something it’s not—it should be to show that you’re making an effort to provide interesting, helpful content that appeals to their sensory habits.

For examples on how top brands are using interactive video, check out our Marketer’s Guide to Advanced Video ebook.