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TMB survey outlines shift in marketer preference for branded video, but also brand safe environments

New research by Trusted Media Brands suggests not only are marketers increasingly choosing branded video over pre-roll, they're concerned about brand safety.

There’s a shift going on in marketing, to find accountability within their industry at a higher level across the spectrum. A big part of that is, when they're working with media partners, how can they be accountable for what they're delivering, and how is that content helping them engage with their audience. 

The white paper, "Digital Video Outlook: Is Branded Video the New Pre-Roll?" in partnership with the Advertiser Perceptions Omnibus, was written by Babette Lazarus, the senior executive director of brand insights at Trusted Media Brands. It asked nearly 300 marketers and agencies a wide variety of questions on digital video, online environments, strategy and challenges they faced.

 

Trusted Media Brands Brand safety ()

 

Results suggest that not only is the 30 second TV spot in digital video losing its luster, 38 per cent of respondents believe branded video is more important to their overall video strategy. "While nearly 37 per cent of total marketer and agency respondents claimed that branded video and pre/mid/post roll are equally important to their video strategy, a full 38 per cent of the marketer group survey voted for branded video," Lazarus wrote.

“One of the things that we've historically been very good at, as publishers, is storytelling,” explained Vince Errico, chief digital officer at Trusted Media Brands. “When you have a strong marketing partner teaming up with a strong storyteller, the result is a much more effective way of communicating via branded video then your standard pre-roll.”

As a medium, branded video is a richer experience than a fleeting couple of seconds of pre-roll, was more effective and delivered better performance. Branded video created by publishers helps drive ROI, helps drive engagement and brand loyalty, and helps drive customers to purchase – all critical in today's fragmented marketplace. 

 

TMB branded video ()

 

Brand safety

One of the biggest challenges marketers face in producing and distributing branded video is making sure the online environment is safe, the report noted. "Thirty-nine per cent of those surveyed said a brand safe environment was a top benefit to distributing video on publisher sites," according to the white paper.

The conversation around brand safety was a hot topic for marketers last year, when many companies pulled advertising from YouTube, or in Proctor & Gamble’s case, pulled approximately US $140 million in digital ad spend

Errico explained that the proliferation of programmatic advertising buying has led to a lack of transparency and ability to understand where advertising is running, sometimes because there are so many different places in which it ends up. “Sometimes, depending on which ad exchange you may be buying your programmatic buy through, they may not share the information everywhere your ad is running,” he said. “Conversely, they may send you a list that has thousands and thousands of URLs on it, that would take you a very long time to parse through to really understand what all those sites and pieces of content are, and then you have a third issue, greater and greater spoofing.” 

“It’s about knowing where their brand message is ending up, and what the environment is like,” Errico said.

Thus, marketers and agencies are beginning to take back control, and starting to demand greater transparency from programmatic agencies.

“There are different ways people are dealing with it, but one of those ways is also going back and reinvesting in brand safe environments,” Errico said. “And, companies like our own, where we can guarantee the content, we can guarantee the type of content, the context where their ad will appear.”

And it's this that has become a top priority, but also increasingly why magazine media appeals to marketers and agencies. 

 

Brand safety chart ()

 

For years, magazine media have offered audiences content that is high-quality, trusted, and brands have long-relied on them to target and engage specific audiences and deliver ROI. But, magazine media also provide brand safe environments, in a digital era that sees ads placed next to objectionable content. Indeed, brand safety has become such a hot topic in the publishing and advertising industries that the American Magazine Media Conference 2018 focuses on it.

Errico said it’s not enough for publishers to say they’re brand safe or their content is brand safe. There are steps publishers ought to take:

“It’s really critical to dig into the technology behind the website and understand how the potential  partners can impact the content. For example, we look to understand who has tags or Javascript code on the page. This information enables us to better police what they do with all of those tags on our page, so we can ensure that there's no malware being injected onto the content.” 

“Another important area is dealing with the different ad exchanges. If for example, you are working with them to help meet impression targets, you really need to scrutinise how they help you achieve your goals. It’s essential to understand how they do business and where their demand is coming from. There are several partners we have walked away from when they have not been fully transparent with us.”

“Of course, there are the IAB-backed ads.txt standards, along with some popular fraud detection tools, and so on. All of these things put together add up to what I would call a brand-safe environment. Those are the kinds of steps people need to take, in addition to just being diligent that the content they're creating is brand safe for their audiences and marketing partners.”

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