Standard TV ads are susceptible to same “banner blindness” as online ads, says AOL’s Be.On planning director

Brands must be wary of sticking to standard TV ad formats as people tend to switch off from them, according to AOL’s Be.On planning director Mads Holmen.

Speaking at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) video conference Holmen said people can easily recognise the “standard TV ad recipe”, with the result that they suffer from the same fate as online ads and “banner blindness”.

He agreed with fellow speaker Derek Scrobie, head of brand propositions at YouTube, who said brands must rid themselves of TV ad mentality when approaching their online video strategies.

“Brands need to hear that. It’s about authenticity and playing to the tune of the platform rather than against it, and being native so being and living within the environment,” he said.

Yet most brands have a way to go before they can boast a truly successful YouTube strategy, according to Holmen. He cited a Pixability study which monitored the top 100 Interbrand brands’ YouTube strategies.

More than half of them never achieved more than 10,000 views, and 0.6 per cent of them achieve over one million views, according to the study.

“That includes brands like Nike and Red Bull, I think the real number is actually a lot less than that – I think the average is actually 0.3 per cent on YouTube and that includes the likes of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga,” he said.

Meanwhile he said there is a lot of confusion online still when it comes to measurement and what marks a successful campaign.

He referenced a Kia TV ad, which was distributed online and received a decent amount of “social actions” on Twitter and Facebook, but was judged by TV-type criteria which put it at a disadvantage.

“This was a piece of creative that was meant more for programmatic buying than for being content but it is being measured on how many views it got as content. That’s an example of the confusion that we see online. People have set KPIs like views but they don’t really know what they mean,” he said.

The biggest challenge for brands launching big video campaigns is ensuring all their internal teams are coordinating, according to Holmen.

"Most big brands have the whole tool box - they have social teams, PR and internal comms, but getting them to play together and in tune can be extremely difficult. The biggest challenge for big brands today is to orchestrate that process," he added.

AOL was the exclusive distribution partner for Volvo’s Jean Claude Van Damme ad campaign, which has since clocked up more than 50 million views on YouTube since it launched.

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