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Your video ad will be effective if you’re looking at these three metrics


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March 23, 2016 | 6 min read

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As part of The Digital Trading Awards Programme 2016 we hear from James Patterson, GM, UK from The Trade Desk who talks about Video Ads.

If one minute of video is worth a million words, what’s a video ad worth to your brand?

Video ads are hugely impactful, and remain so, despite the world of digital video advertising being complex. Everything on a web page is created to compete for your customer’s attention. Video players aren’t always front and centre on the page, nor are they always in a big enough player to register with the site visitor’s line of vision.

Complexities aside, video still proves to be an exciting and powerful tool for advertisers. More than half of the 70 top UK agencies think video advertising is on par with or better than TV, leading video ad spend in the UK to reach £292 million over the first half of 2015.

Much of this year’s digital video spend will be done programmatically, where the UK leads Europe and is slowly closing the gap on the US. Because there’s more consumer data available than ever before, programmatic platforms can accurately target video ads on a granular level.

With this level of precision, there’s never been a better time to truly understand if your video ad resonates with its audience. But where do you begin? Paying attention to viewability, brand awareness and completion rate can help you prove the value that your brand is gaining from video ads.


Whether or not a video is seen is arguably the most important metric in evaluating the ad’s effectiveness. Viewability accounts for factors such as:

Is the ad playing onscreen, offscreen, or in a partially visible state? Where an ad is located on a webpage and how long it stays there play crucial roles in whether or not it reaches your audience.

Is there more than one video player on the page? Multiple video players means your ad may be competing with other ads or video content on the page, lowering its value significantly.

Is the player big enough that viewers can make out your brand message? The larger the player window, the more premium the inventory. Tiny sidebar video players have some usefulness but should be part of a healthy mix.

So far, viewability has presented significant challenges for UK advertisers. In Q3 2015, experts say as much as 68 percent of video ads were non-viewable. But viewability is improving, and there are methods to ensure your ad is leaving an impression. Private marketplace (PMP) deals, for example, guarantee high viewability and placement quality.

Completion Rate

Did the person viewing the ad get through the entire video? It’s easy to see why half of UK advertisers cite “maximizing view through” as a top campaign objective.

As it turns out, completion rate has also been a tough area for UK advertisers. Video ad completion in March 2015 plummeted from 64.6% to 56.3% YoY. This lower completion rate might be due to a higher prevalence of autoplay ads, which hinders the user experience and causes site visitors to close out of the page.

Brand Awareness

When was the last time someone told you about an awesome banner ad they saw? That’s never happened to me either. It’s no surprise that banner ads – no matter how clever – aren’t as readily available to recall as videos or commercials. The difference lies in the creative resonance that comes naturally with video.

Video has the ability to connect with consumers on an emotional level, which is difficult to do on virtually any other channel. Due to this, video creative is a key method of increasing brand awareness. Since video rarely has a direct call-to-action attached to the ad, higher brand lift is usually associated with how long the user stuck with the video. As noted above, completed videos are easier said than done. The content of the video must engage and resonate your consumer in a meaningful way. As the human attention span steadily declines, it appears the most successful campaigns are often the most succinct. Brands should consider limiting the length of the ad and get clever in creating a concise brand message.

Video is invaluable in connecting brands with their consumers. As programmatic buying continues to gain momentum, understanding the intricacies can greatly impact the ROI of your campaign. And, a campaign’s success is reflective of compelling content tied with a keen sense of the importance of viewability, completion rate and brand awareness metrics.

James Patterson, General Manager UK, The Trade Desk

The Trade Desk are Headline Sponsor of The Drum Digital Trading Awards 2016 and more details can be found here, and


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