Why Online Video Advertising is so DAMN Effective: Introduction

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When Bulova ran the world’s first video ad on NBC on July 1, 1941 for a total of $4, I truly don’t think they could have anticipated the impact they would make on video advertising less than a decade later. Not a direct impact, of course, as the number of brands playing in this market went from a handful to, well… too many to count. But they started something when they took what was traditionally in print and radio format and turned it into something visually stimulating.

And it worked.

Why? Because the human brain processes images over 60,000 times faster than text; it responds better to visual cues than it does to text.[i] In fact, video advertising became such a phenomenon that psychologists developed a field around trying to understand the impact that video ads have on our brain and emotions. And that’s what this article is about: understanding why video ads are so damn effective and impactful. Specifically, online video ads.

I’m not going to inundate you with statistics about how many people prefer to watch videos on their phone or the decline of TV viewing or the ever-rising internet users. There’s enough written about that.

But what I am going to ask you is this: why is it that when a group of internet users were asked to recall the message of a campaign (video & conventional display), only 22% of them could remember the messaging in the conventional display ad and 37% of them remembered the video ad? Why is it that when another group of internet users were shown an ad in a video format and conventional display format, 40% of the group highly favored the video ad while nixing the display campaign?[ii]

The answer lies deep within the most complex object in the universe: the human brain.

Stay tuned for the next in the series of why video advertising is so damn effective….

(Hint: you might gain a new appreciation for how your brain works)

[i] http://www.webmarketinggroup.co.uk/blog/why-every-seo-strategy-needs-infographics/

[ii] How to Measure Digital Marketing: Metrics for Assessing Impact and Designing Success; Flores, Laurent; 2014

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