This article is a response to “The Great Unwatched”, David Segal’s front-page story in the Sunday Business section of The New York Times a couple days ago. Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/business/the-great-unwatched.html
The main gist of the article outlines a really interesting fact that I completely understand, given the over-saturation of the digital marketing forum. It states, “By many estimates, more than half of online video ads are not seen, either because they are buried low on web pages or run in tiny, easily ignored video players on those pages, or run simultaneously with other ads. Vindico, an ad management platform company, deemed 57 percent of two billion video ads surveyed over two months to be ‘unviewable.'”
Upon reading this, I immediately related it to so many online experiences I’ve had, in which I’ve arrived at a webpage, and saw about a dozen videos on the side of that page. Suddenly, sounds come out of the visual din, and I frantically look to see from whence the sound comes. I can’t find it anywhere. There are simply too many videos on this page. Finally, I find the source of the sound, and it’s just another one of those useless ads.
Yeah, that’s right, useless. Meaning it has no relevance to me in my life. Meaning the media buying agencies or companies that bought the media themselves, what have you, didn’t really do the best job in targeting their desired market. This is a problem that I think is plaguing many marketers. For, as the article said, more than half of all video ads online are “unviewable”. I think the biggest reason for this is the fact that every advertiser is vying for the best spots for their videos on a webpage, but if they can’t get that, they figure, “Well, if I’m at least on the page, I’ll get seen.” It might seem like a good idea in theory…if only one person does it. When ten advertisers think and act that way, well, that’s a problem.
Here’s a real-life example. About a year-and-a-half ago was election time, and there’s this particular hill alongside the road that you pass as you head out of Middletown, New York. This hill, from around July to November of 2012, was like the Times Square of election lawn signs. Driving by, I must have seen about twenty of these little signs on the hill, each advertising a different candidate.
Like, how can you expect to get decent exposure with an over-saturated platform like that? Did the person who put the sign down expect a passerby to just magically select his/her candidate out of the clutter and think, “Him! I’m gonna vote for him!” Plus, all that’s on the signs are names. There’s no differentiation factor between any of them. This is the idea behind “The Great Unwatched”. Not only are the video advertisements not getting seen due to poor placement, but few people seem to watch them because the videos are irrelevant to them. I mean, if I got a dollar for every time I clicked the “Skip This Ad” button on a YouTube video…
This is the problem that plagues so many marketers. Everyone wants to advertise using videos on website, but if you can’t get your desired online real estate, is it really worth it to settle for another place on the same site? Maybe you’ll get some engagement if you place the video there, but it seems to me there are so many more avenues that are more ideal in generating larger, more organic interest in your brand.
Do you think there’s value in placing videos just anywhere on a website? Do you feel that micromarketing using online videos causes over-saturation? Or, by any chance, do you not mind being bombarded with videos like the paparazzi bombard Kimye as they leave Starbucks? Lemme know in the poll. We’ll try something new this week.
And my apologies for posting a couple days late. I was involved with a major project this weekend. Phew. This business they call marketing is strenuous. But I always have a great time with it. Hope you do, too.
Talk to you soon.