‘Video isn’t just video’: Overheard at Digiday Video Marketing Summit

With cable viewership down and streaming services rising, agencies and brands are challenged with the world of OTT. And of course, video marketing isn’t just commercials during TV; there’s pre-roll on YouTube, ad breaks on Facebook and “Stories” on Snapchat and Instagram. At Digiday’s Video Marketing Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, marketers shared their biggest challenges. Here’s some of what was said.

Agencies don’t know who owns OTT internally
“A lot of times there’s internal politics on who to buy. A lot of agencies are saying they have these video teams but when you really dig into it video isn’t just video. There’s digital and TV.”

“We take the position that OTT is an extension of our television buy. Right now we tend to use it for our niche products. We’ve eliminated as much as possible pre-roll because we really want television programming.”

Who should own video at agencies?
“With media and creative, and who should own video between the two, I once had a client say this: ‘I have a beautiful 90-second spot that runs in my lobby because media cannot accommodate this glorious creative work.’ We get media plans recommending 100 different formats that my creative agency can’t make. There has to be a truth somewhere in-between.”

“I am working with clients who have never been in a scenario where creative and the distribution of creative was attached. They may be doing upfront buys but the creative shop is so disconnected to those decisions.”

“You go to a meeting with middle management, who are in charge of making decisions on how money is allocated, and they have no formula.”

Too many vendors
“Everybody comes in and says, ‘We’re the ones with the best source of inventory,’ and we’re like, ‘Okay?’ It’s challenging for us to — as compared to the normal RFP process — of who is the direct source and who should we be talking to.”

“Best sources? It makes me sweat. The number of people I meet with I’m trying to sort where do they fit. I want to make the right decision but making the effort relies on a lot of assumptions.”

“Anyone coming in that doesn’t have a unique differentiator it’s easy to say no to.”

Brands are unsure of what metrics to focus on
“At the end of the day, what does your advertiser care about? They don’t care about audience. Every time we get them a brief and they’re like our CPM is too high. Okay, then you care about price.”

“I would never expect [our brands] to be a higher performance buyer, but I get they’re trying to achieve awareness.”

Questioning the effectiveness of six seconds
“We have clients that just want the bumper ads, but you can’t really see anything. You can’t show retail offers.”

“At a creative firm, we used to hate six seconds. We love our 2-minute films that would make people cry. When you have clients just interested in performance metrics, you run into trouble. But you can tell [the story] if you’re telling one thing.”

“We approach six seconds as a retargeting tactic. People who engage with 15 or 30 we retarget with six as a reminder. It depends on the channel. Pinterest might be an area where it actually works.”

Facebook’s 3-second ads can work
“Why would you be seeing so much lift on Facebook if people aren’t seeing the ads?”

“Don’t just use the same video assets for Facebook. You’re only getting three seconds so a lot of time we shy away from video on Facebook because you can’t rely on viewability. It’s not for 15s to 30s.”

“Depending on your content, three seconds isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re just looking for brand awareness. I don’t think you can compare a certain length on Facebook to elsewhere even if it’s the same price. How we compare ad formats shouldn’t start with price?”

“I think [Facebook pre-roll] is the most annoying and obnoxious ad product. It doesn’t benefit us to have ad products that are annoying to consumers.”

YouTube has really improved customer service; Facebook has not 
“I find them to be very hot and cold. Some are extremely creative. Others are absolutely useless.”

“Each platform’s account teams are a reflection of the entire company. Facebook is big, and they’ve always said, ‘We do it our way.’ Twitter might want to be more collaborative because they’re more scrappy. Someone like Snapchat is still new in the space and has more pressure to yield to advertisers. They feel similar to early days of Facebook.”

“On YouTube, three of our marquee accounts went dark. The customer service effort [YouTube] put in has been incredible, the ultimate damage control, granted these were big accounts. Facebook and others really dropped the ball by not taking advantage.”

Influencer marketing has a lot of energy but hard to harness
“We have natural influencer activity for free. We’re figuring out where to put dollars smartly and authentically and then of course measurement.”

“I think it’s very nascent. Self-serve became a fix and then white-listing. The challenge is that influencers represent content and distribution at the same time.”

“We have some brands that are more conservative so the risk there of someone doing something crazy could tarnish. But they still do want to try influencers. It’s just how far do we go?”

“There’s a lot of fraud there when it comes to their followers. We work with a third-party that vets that out.”

“Some influencers are really shitty partners. They might be a diva, way overpriced, have fake followers. But there’s a place for a lot of added value if you find the right partner. There are two sides. They’re just very extreme.”

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