Power play: How consumers will take control of the digital ad industry in 2018 | MMA
February 16, 2018
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Let’s face it, people don’t like digital advertising. Mary Meeker reports that 80% of people dislike pre-roll video, and 82% of people have closed a web page because of an auto-playing video ad. In 2018, the rules of video advertising are set to change. Mobile will help redefine video advertising for a consumer-controlled world, where immediacy, interactivity and immersion will keep the audiences engaged.

Smartphones are putting people in the driver’s seat, and new forms of mobile advertising will have lasting and far-reaching effects on the digital advertising marketplace in the coming year.

Check out our top five insights and predictions to win at video advertising in 2018.

Performance overshadows awareness

Everybody knows that video is great for driving brand awareness, and yet in 2018 advertisers will be increasingly responsible for delivering on business goals. As a result, digital video inventory will be increasingly purchased on a performance basis (rather than the age-old CPM model) to better align with campaign goals tied to middle and lower-funnel metrics. Why? Because people are at least 65% more likely to make an online purchase after watching a video.

Data-driven decision making will change everything

The days of “spray and pray” are over. Based on the format the ad is seen in, the context that surrounds it and, finally, the creative itself, marketers have an enormous opportunity to provide real value and entertainment. John Montgomery, EVP Global Brand Safety at GroupM recently stated that advertisers no longer place ads for editorial adjacency, but instead they follow a specific, targeted customers regardless of site, app, or device. In 2018, advertisers will use data to create and deploy custom audience segments to better connect with the right customers. Selecting publishers based on prestige will matter less, while understanding customer preferences, habits, and moods will become increasingly important.

Mobile games become premium placements

192 million Americans play mobile games. Fifty-five percent of peopleplay daily, and 60 percent of daily players are women. Apple and Google report that games are the number one most downloaded app category. Advertisers have already begun appreciating mobile games as premium destinations for their digital ads. In 2018 look for them to start spending big. Mobile game applications are highly regulated by Google and Apple; they are resistant to fraudulent traffic by requiring a touch to initiate content; and the vast majority of them are brand-safe and family-friendly. Games provide a safe, viewable, and engaging environment for advertisers to reach their customers.

The rise of opt-in advertising

Sixty-four percent of people say ads are annoying and intrusive, and according to eMarketer 30% of internet users will use ad blockers by 2018. For the first time, in 2018, advertisers will not be able to interrupt their way to a positive relationship with their customers. Look for value exchange (aka “rewarded” or “incentivized”) advertising to fill this void. Value exchange ads allow people to experience ads when they’re ready, in exchange for access to entertainment, points, or other digital content.

Enhanced video with rich media functionality

Ever-increasing scrutiny and the drive for measurable performance will make immersive, shoppable, and interactive ad units increasingly popular in 2018. Enhancing video with this type of “rich media” functionality delivers robust interaction and engagement in the form of swipes, web site visits, and social media actions. In fact, click-through rates are typically at least two times the norm when ads are enabled with rich media functionality. In 2018, advertisers will finally move away from cramming this space with repurposed TV and instead leverage the deeper and more engaging experiences their customers enjoy.

Video is arguably the most powerful placement advertisers have in their toolbox, but getting the most out of video requires thoughtful planning, a clear strategy, and a deep understanding of the new rules for video marketing. Video is much more than sight, sound, and motion - and in 2018 - get ready to experience the beginning of a digital video revolution. More consumer control, interactive video, and video that activates the entire marketing funnel - from awareness through to sales.


Adam Cohen Aslatei, VP Marketing @JunGroup