A Picture Is Worth 176 Eyeballs

Streaming video advertising is just around the corner, according to industry analysts. Yet every week new advertisers and agencies are waking up to the reality that streaming is already here and that it is an exciting new way to make a real impact in the interactive advertising space.

Let’s face it, we’re a visual society. The Internet is evolving into a hybrid TV/data stream, allowing users to expand their online horizons, from viewing daily news stories to watching full-length feature films. The number of sites deploying streaming content is growing monthly, offering better content to advertise against for smart marketers. Networks such as iBEAM On-Target deliver over 25 million user requested streams per month, and that number is growing.

Why is a picture worth 176 eyeballs? The answer lies in current banner advertising statistics. Some studies indicate that up to 88 percent of all Internet users don’t even look at banners. Why? For starters, banners deliver words wrapped in colors. Due to our tendency to gravitate more toward images rather than words, banners fail to gain any meaningful mindshare; they force us to first read, then process what we’ve just experienced. Too many steps, too little time, far too much waste.

Fast-forward to streaming video. Take the same message — a brand statement, for example — and use a TV-quality commercial. Insert that creative in front of streaming content a user has requested, such as a news clip or sports highlight. The user watches and hears the impact of your message before his or her clip runs and is completely immersed in the experience. Talk about impact!

So, back to the title: Why is a picture worth 176 eyeballs? It’s simple math. If 88 out of 100 users ignore a banner, that’s 176 rolled-over eyeballs. Now, take that TV-quality ad and run it in front of 100 streaming video users: 100 out of 100 will see your ad, allowing you to cost-efficiently recapture those 88 pairs of previously indifferent, banner-avoiding eyeballs.

The ability to extend existing creative originally produced for TV and run it across yet another medium results in tangible benefits:

  • Cost reduction through creative repurposing

  • Consistency of brand message across multiple advertising platforms
  • Improved brand and product recall
  • Higher return on investment (ROI) for media budgets otherwise earmarked for yet another banner campaign

As if all this isn’t good enough to convince most advertisers to include streaming ads in their media buys, here’s one more benefit: interactivity. Advertisers can imbed a small button within their ad that leads to a jump page featuring a coupon, frequently asked questions (FAQs), or a registration form. And it works. The ability to make an impact on a viewer, deliver your message in a way that truly differentiates your offer from a banner, and include a call to action all add up to revitalized excitement about Internet advertising.

Think about it while you watch TV tonight.

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