I am a big fan of watching TV online through Hulu, ABC.com, CBS.com, etc. I recently gave up on cable TV because I only really want to watch 4-5 programs a month, and it seemed a waste to pay $90 a month to Time Warner, so everything I watch now is online (except for my Netflix subscription).
I think online video ads offer a huge opportunity to marketers through:
1. Repetition – generally one marketer sponsors a show or movie
2. The user can’t skip the advertisements like on a TiVo or DVR.
With that in mind, I think marketers miss the boat big time when it comes to engaging with an audience that is already connected online and on an interactive device. Instead of using the 30-second spot with some pretty creative (pictured above) why not try something else that will get me engaged. I don’t want to point the blame at marketers only because TV networks could get involved as well. So when I am watching Fringe on Hulu what about a brand sponsoring behind the scenes clips or a game to collect facts about the show. This allows the brand to add some utility to the viewing experience while keeping me engaged.
eMarketer reported that viewer penetration of online ads is on the rise, which is great for online audiences everywhere. However, if its on the rise without thinking about a solution that is different to TV, then we are going down the same wrong path that TV is currently on. If nothing changes I know I will start switching off and blinding myself from the marketers message just like I do on Facebook.