Advertising in VOD programming offers specific advantages for brand marketers to effectively engage consumers, according to the Phase II study of the Advanced Advertising Media Project (AAMP) — an industry-wide research initiative to measure the impact of advertising within free VOD.
The study, which examined the viewing behavior of more than 1,000 consumers, revealed that advertising within a VOD environment has a positive impact on the level of engagement of consumers — enabling agencies, cable operators and networks to leverage full, linear TV ad loads, while allowing advertisers to utilize longer-form approaches that can serve as avenues for enhanced creativity.
Conducted with programming from 11 AAMP member broadcast and cable networks and branded messaging from 10 national advertisers across six categories, the AAMP study revealed four basic themes:
1. Ads within a VOD context statistically have the same impact, no matter what the size of the ad load. The size of the ad load has no impact on viewer engagement with VOD. Aided recall of advertised brands was statistically the same (63%-64% for light loads and 58% and 59% for moderate and heavy loads). In addition, VOD ads delivered an uplift of between three and five percentage points across all loads in both interest in finding out about a particular brand, and purchase intent for an advertised brand.
2. Because consumers view VOD as television, they accept advertising on VOD as a logical part of the on-demand experience.
3. On-demand television has a positive effect on consumers’ sense of control over content and advertising.
4. VOD provides opportunities for increased ad durations that can foster greater storytelling and information sharing by advertisers. Consumers are more receptive to longer-form ads on VOD, and longer-form ads can have a greater impact than traditional 30-second spots. Viewer interest in finding out more about a particular brand featured in a 90-second ad was 64% higher than interest elicited by the same 90-second ad in linear television, and fully double the interest generated by a VOD 30-second ad.
Between 31% and 38% of participants across all ad loads rated the TV viewing experience as “excellent,” and between 65% and 75% rated the experience as “excellent” or “very good.” This compares favorably to the “excellent” (29%) and “excellent or very good” (66%) for linear television. For all ad loads, enjoyment increased throughout the show. Further, it was clear from post-test, in-depth consumer interviews with randomly selected participants that the presence of ads across a diversity of media platforms has increased acceptance of ads in general.
“When it comes to advertising, the ‘TV Environment’ absolutely matters,” said Bill Koenigsberg, Horizon Media CEO. “If there is one finding from this study that is particularly relevant to the media industry, it’s this: consumers will watch, recall and respond even to heavy loads of ads within VOD programming.”
Conducted by Ipsos OTX, Phase II of the AAMP study tested three different VOD ad loads within 19 primetime TV shows or segments of 30 minutes each. The test formats included: a “Light” load with three minutes of inventory; a “Moderate” load of five and one-half minutes of advertising; and a “Heavy” load which contained eight minutes of advertising. In addition, the study tested a second version of the “Light” load that included a 90-second ad unit. All groups were benchmarked against the standard eight-minute linear ad load. Participants watched comedy, drama and reality programming that contained ads from various categories such automotive, consumer products, financial services, pharmaceutical, retail and technology.
RBR-TVBR observation: Part of the reason that viewers are more receptive to VOD ads is they’re viewing content they specifically sought out–separate from the regular live lineup of shows. The knowledge that the program is being delivered for free improves the experience, as well as the delivery of VOD ads–they’re not the typical bombardment of commercial and tune-in clutter. They’re more about one-on one with the brand, and the viewer is often clearly shown that the brand is making it possible for their VOD programming to be seen for free.