Pre-roll video ads are still the most effective, study suggests

video advertising

Pre-roll video ad formats resonate better with mobile users compared to mid-roll and outstream executions, with only 17% of participants in a recent study by IPG Media Lab and YuMe claiming that pre-roll ads interrupt the user experience.

This is compared to 60% of respondents who claimed that outstream video ad formats disrupt their content consumption, while 72% claimed mid-roll ads did likewise, according to the study which surveyed over 6,000 users exposed to the different ad formats.

Furthermore, 54% of survey participants found pre-roll ads on mobile engaging, compared to 37% and 44% on outstream and mid-roll respectively, with the study also finding that pre-roll video ads produce higher ad recall rates, and are deemed less intrusive than the two alternative formats.

When it comes to mid-roll, consumers have mixed attitudes, but were less likely to want to end their content consumption session once exposed to tha ad compared to the (comparatively) newer outstream format.

Additionally, the report also found that mid-roll communicates brand messages particularly well on larger screens (similar to that of a TV), and also ranked higher in message recall for desktop viewers at 27%, compared to 8% for outstream.

“The results of this media trial offer unique and compelling insights that brands will be able to leverage across platforms,” said Kara Manatt, senior vice president intelligence solutions strategy at Magna.

“User experience is not only critical to individual brand success, but also to the success of the industry as a whole. Brands can now make even more informed, data-driven decisions in order to better connect with audiences and create better user experiences at the same time.”

The report also found that 67% of viewers agreed that social video did not disturb the users' browsing experience compared to 53% who agree for pre-roll.

Outstream is rated much more positively among those who complete the video, indicating targeting is key. In fact, consumers are about three-times more likely to remember the ad, the report suggests. Further, the study found that personal computers provide a better canvas for outstream than mobile, and branded content performs particularly well in this format compared to traditional video ads.

"We are big advocates of marketers using a mix of video formats and strategies to effectively reach target audiences, but it also comes as no surprise that pre-roll remains a dominant cornerstone in a multi-format approach. This artful balance of formats meets brand objectives while delivering memorable experiences for consumers,” said Michael Hudes, chief revenue officer, YuMe.

“Through this trial, we’ve been able to clearly outline and reveal the power and impact of video formats across devices. This type of data and insights will prove invaluable for brands continuing to innovate in this space.”

The media trial element of the study tested five video ad formats as well as 12 ad strategies, such as contextual relevance, ad length, creative type, etc., and also saw the participation of brands including Ghirardelli’s and H&M.

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