Does Online Video Advertising Work?

Doubleclick did this study in February, 2007

  • The top-line results are that, yes, a whopping 8% of viewers interact with video ads.
  • Users repeatedly watch the video ad much more than they click through on traditional banner ads.
  • On average video ads are watched 2/3 of the way through. Play-through rates do not vary between traditional video ads and expandable formats.
  • Video click rates are much, much higher than traditional image banner ads.
The primary measurement for video ads = Interaction Rate. "It includes the sum total of all interactions people have with the video ad units, including expansions, interactions with the video control button, and custom interactions and clicks – divided by the total impressions served.

In the Doubleclick study the smallest ads (120 x 90) had a huge Interaction Rate = 28.8%. They say that this isn't because of the size but because this size of video advertising appears in chat windows. It makes sense that while chatting people are more prone to click on an ad. The size of ads that they studied included 336 x 280 (IR = 11.8%), 300 x 250 (7.4%), 120 x 600 (7.1%), 160 x 600 (5.7%), and 728 x 90 (5.6%).

All Doubleclick video ads have a play, pause, stop and mute buttons. The ads in this study were autoplay silent ads so when someone pressed on play it was actually to replay the ad. At .32% viewers were 3x more likely to press play than they were to click through (CTR average = 0.1%) a standard banner gif or jpeg ad.

The ads in this study were in -page as opposed to in-stream, meaning they were embedded on a page rather than included in a video content stream. For those in-page units -- 30 seconds was the amount of time most viewers spent watching the ad. The second length in time was 15 seconds.

There is negligible difference in the length of time viewers are exposed to the ad between expandable and non-expandable ads. On average both types run 2/3 of the way through before the viewer stops viewing it. Doubleclick think that people click away from the page itself after the ad runs 2/3 of the way through because less than 1% of the audience actually presses the stop button.

Video ads are excellent direct vehicles as well as branding tools because the click through rate is significantly higher than it is for picture ads. Average CTR for video ads ranged from .4% to .74% as opposed to 0.1% for picture ads.

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