Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Direct Response/Brand Advertisting Connection

MTV received a fair amount of press last month from a study they commissioned to identify the most effective ad format for short form online video. The 5-second pre-roll combined with a 10-second lower third overlay was officially declared not only most effective, but most consumer-friendly as well.

Reading about the study, I immediately recalled a terrific guest column in Online Media Daily titled “Beyond Advertising, A Strategic Path to the Digital Consumer.”  The columnists, both partners at IBM Global Business Services, argue that every contact an advertiser makes with a consumer in a digital environment should impact the brand as well as drive an action - direct response and brand advertising should always be wrapped together.

“Traditional boundaries are fading, creating opportunities for innovative business models for content platforms. Thus advertisers that previously focused on delivering either ROI-driven marketing or brand-oriented advertising can cater to both sets of objectives. The result is what we call "brands-actional" advertising.”

What better way to accomplish this than an online video campaign with a brand oriented pre-roll and a follow up call to action in the overlay?

As online video providers frantically look for ways to effectively monetize their fast-growing traffic and finally move closer to some industry standards, it appears they could find themselves center stage for a new ad model that is embraced by the industry and fundamentally changes outdated marketing practices.

Marketers and their agencies need to move quickly to seamlessly connect their traditional/digital and brand/direct response efforts. Surprisingly most agencies still do not create a short, pre-roll version of their standard 30-second TV commercials.

And shouldn’t overlays and other call-to-action ad units (hot spotting, post roll, etc) be part of a unified and integrated TV creative and media plan? After all, TV and online video viewing are coalescing.

Seems this is just one more example of the immediate need for marketers to centralize multiple disciplines that still often exist in different silos and often different agencies. At the recent Chicago Ad Tech Conference many of the CMOs in attendance were outspoken in their preference for bundled, do-it-all approaches.