Why You Need Original Pre-Roll Video Content

John Cecil – Author – Online Video Revolution – Available on Amazon

TV Spots and pre-roll advertising: What is the connection?

What kind of videos should you create for your pre-roll advertising?

A lot of companies come to us and ask us for advice on how they should use video in their ads. And as you know, pre-roll is actually the predominant form of online video advertising happening on the web today.

What’s happening is that most customers are polarizing by using their television spots as their pre-roll advertising. And this is a broken model. We’re saying, “Don’t use your TV spots as pre-roll, but use original, created content for your pre-roll advertising. So this goes back to the abandonment issue that we’ve talked about and people watching on a smaller screen are different than someone watching on TV.

Why are people using TV spots as their pre-roll? Part of it is laziness. And what we’re saying is what you need to do, if you’re actually producing a television spot, schedule an extra day or maybe two extra days to focus on solely on pre-roll. You can connect pre-roll to that ad and run sort of extensions of the ad or create ads specifically for your pre-roll efforts. So for example, an advertiser could be running their pre-roll on a site that has to do with environmentally sensitive content. And you obviously wouldn’t want to run a certain kind of content on that page.

So think about pre-roll. You can now target by subject and genre, just like you can with television ads. So don’t think about just placing your television spot in that place. Create content specifically, not only for your company and for the medium of pre-roll, but think about the environment, the webpage, the subject that that pre-roll will be running on and get as targeted as possible.

Look, after the Super Bowl I saw at least 10 spots that I saw 2 days before. And I look at those advertisers and I say they’re really missing an opportunity here. Pre-roll is not that great. They call it an interruptive form of advertising, but there’s actually a great video opportunity if you create video content specifically for your pre-roll advertising.