Teads turns digital video advertising on its head
- Ver Original
- Junho 15º, 2015
Up until this point, none of us have liked watching online video advertising. It’s invasive, intrusive and disruptive… and uninteresting. One company is helping to change that with its ‘Outstream’ model.
For a few months in the late 1970s, going to the cinema to us kids meant one thing, watching the amazing Benson & Hedges ad before the film started.
Featuring lizards, a girl in a wetsuit, a helicopter, a swimming pool and an oversized cigarette packet, it was probably responsible for my tobacco addiction… and ongoing interest in how advertising works.
At the time, it was the most expensive commercial ever made and its quality wasn’t accidental, it was made by Academy Award-winner Hugh Hudson. It made going to the cinema an even more awesome experience and a form of advertising that clearly worked.
Not that I’m having that particular experience this morning with the internet and video advertising. After (somewhat belatedly) discovering the extraordinary music of Benjamin Clementine, I’ve been browsing YouTube to find more examples of his songwriting.
Consequently, I’ve had to sit through any number of irritating ads that last up to thirty seconds and while the ‘Skip Ad’ option means that I can, indeed, pass on the video, even then I am disrupted by five seconds of wasted time.
I am not alone in this. A recent survey by ad buying software company Strata showed that more than a third of people found online video ads even more annoying than TV ones. Pointedly, the younger demographic hated them more than the older generation. If the kids are becoming nettled by this form of content, than something really must be wrong.
Advertising on the internet is under huge threat from a number of sources, not least viewer irritation. AdBlock is a content filtering extension for the Big Four browsers of Safari, Chrome, Opera and Firefox… which, er, blocks out ads.
The plug-in is free to download (users can donate to the developers) and has now been done more than 50 million times. Nobody is going to miss banner ads except for the brands and publishers themselves, but this is having a huge effect on the advertising model for the internet. The last thing they need is for website visitors to be angry at the remaining advertising that hasn’t been blocked.
But there is light at the end of the existing digital video and in the form of one particular company, Teads. Founded in 2011, this is no lean startup, it has already gone through seven rounds of funding and made five acquisitions, raising more than $80 million in the process.
The company is turning the digital video advertising model on its head, so that it becomes part of the experience when reading on the internet, rather like the Benson & Hedges ad I used to watch at the cinema in the 1970s.
Its video advertising platform approaches things differently by posting video ads that live outside of video content; not like YouTube at the start, but placed within an article and inside the text. You may even be experiencing this for yourself right now. The Telegraph, like more than 400 global publishers, uses Teads’ technology. The company calls this Outstream, a technology it claims to have invented.
At its London event this week the company was on triumphant and ebullient form and the audience was in similar mode. There’s nothing like a brands-meet-publishers audience, it usually brings out the best-looking people in London, and even if they’re not good-looking, they’re always well-dressed.
Justin Taylor, UK Managing Director at Teads, knows only too well the challenges for digital video advertising and how the user needs to have a better experience when observing it.
“Despite being the fastest growing sector of the advertising market, digital video advertising has been plagued with issues of viewability, fraud and reputation of irritating the consumer. Poorly made or poorly placed ads are ignored and this means publishers and brands are losing out.
“As an industry, we need to get better at engaging, not better at interrupting. That means introducing new formats which web-users find less invasive, more creative ads that are better placed, and giving consumers control,” he said.
The prospect of digital video advertising appears to be steadily improving, and no doubt there will be many future competitors who will try to piggyback on Teads’ technology.
For now, however, I am so beguiled by Benjamin Clementine’s music that I can now forget about annoying video ads on YouTube and how they might improve. What an amazing musician.