Luke Aviet, managing director Advertising UK, AOL Goviral
Luke Aviet, managing director Advertising UK, AOL Goviral
A view from Luke Aviet

Think BR: And the winner is... social video!

For the first time, the IAB adspend study includes a social video category, emphasising the format's importance as a bridge between mass reach display and data-driven performance, writes Luke Aviet, managing director Advertising UK, AOL Goviral.

Our industry has come a long way since its inception back in 2005. Back then, marketers automatically associated online video with viral marketing, and budgets were mostly experimental.

Last week the IAB announced that adspend online had increased by 13.5% for the first six months of 201, overtaking TV as the UK’s biggest media in terms of adspend.

Much of this growth is coming from online video, where spend is up another 100% YoY.

In fact, online video is now close to 10% of all display budgets in the UK and is pushing the category to 18.5% growth in the first half of this year, making it the fastest growing online category in the UK.

In short, video has matured out of its initial buzz status and become a standard component within most multichannel brand campaigns.

However, video is obviously not just video. There is pre-roll, video banners and for the first time in the IAB adspend study there is also a social video category - Goviral’s true home in the advertising ecosystem.

Social video is defined as a non-interruptive, user-initiated video format sold on a cost per engagement/view basis.

The social video format launches only when the viewer actively chooses to watch the content.

For this reason, one of the defining characteristics of the format is its ability to serve video of any length (typically 30-120 seconds and sometimes as long as 5-10 minutes).

Plays can be delivered across a range of media (in-page, in-stream, in-game, in-app) and on multiple devices (smart phones, tablets, PCs, connected TVs) but the common denominator is that the content is delivered within a fully functional video player, giving the user total control of the viewing experience.

It also includes, as standard, the ability to comment, watch in full-screen, re-post or share.

Typically, one of these shares will result in 6-8 new sessions, all of which are free to the client.

The most important factor in the development of the social video format has been a change in mindset, not just of the consumer, but also clients, agencies and regulatory bodies, who have seen a need for formats to fill the traditional gap in online between mass reach display and data-driven performance such as paid search. Social video helps bridge that gap.

If we take a step back, we can actually observe how the whole nature of the internet is changing, and with that how branding is conducted.

We are rapidly moving from a world of destinations to a world of distribution. Brands know this already, so the classic website is already accompanied by blogs, apps, Facebook pages and YouTube channels.

Left unsolved is how we drive momentum for our activities in an on-demand world.

Social video is a stab at doing exactly that. It engages the user on the platform or screen where they are comfortable - their point of preference if you like - and offers a non-interruptive gateway to the brand’s ecosystem.

Essentially there is nothing new in the fact that video is social and that great content engages people; the difference is that users now have the ability to engage with a format that offers a branded content experience while allowing them to interact or share these experiences very easily.

Clients and agencies on the other hand have gained the ability to maximise this interest in a strategic manner.

Gone are the days of 'spray and pray' viral campaigns, but from these ashes social video has developed as a proven way to build and maintain a distributed channel for brands into the heart of users' attention and their dialogue with each other.

Luke Aviet, managing director Advertising UK, AOL Goviral