What are users’ needs when it comes to online advertising?

See the other parts of this series here:

  1. comScore,
  2. Display advertising
  3. Publishers’ needs
  4. Advertiser’s needs

Each industry player has his or her own needs to address that are these days different from what they were a few short years ago.

Users’ needs

Today’s youth, Gen Y, likes brands contrary to Gen X who prefers NO NAME to brand X. The new youth associate themselves with the brands they love on social media, by sharing their brands’ content and sharing their experiences with those brands. The 18-24 year old age group in general are expecting huge change in how they will access content in the future. They also positively expect better engagement and interaction with those brands directly and through their advertising and marketing programs according to Microsoft Advertising.

So what do all these needs amount to?

Publishers become more and more creative to increase their ROI while better serving Advertisers’ needs and taking into account Users’ needs. They propose more interactive and engaging advertising platforms that respond to users’ desires as well as advertisers’. How are they doing this? Here are a few examples:

NHL.com: They have on several occasions in the past year produced sections of original content to put in association with an advertiser. Each time they worked towards the content uplifting a brand attribute. For example they produced a series of articles on goalies and their masks, sponsored by Halloween 2. Another series focused on superstitions in the NHL presented by Guinness (official beer of Halloween). A third example presented players with a recognised sense of style, presented by Audi… the list goes on and every time we find a very intelligent fit & association of content and advertiser = branded content.

Yahoo! Canada: Did you know we collectively spend 124 years worth of time on a daily basis filling out CAPCHAs? We can easily assume we spend as much time “logging into” various sites as well. Yahoo repurposed a commercially unutilised temporary page that happened to be the 3rd most viewed on their site – i.e. a ton of wasted ad opportunity. They repurposed their login page to present a full screen ad. Here an advertiser be King! Many very beautiful examples were presented. With this much space, creative artists can really go all out and render a most beautiful and compelling ad.

Sympatico.ca: This Canadian portal associated itself will Innovid – a rich media video developer. Their new technology allows them to easily create interactive video ads that serve both advertisers’ and users’ needs. With video ad completion rates getting smaller and smaller and the useful lifespan of a video ad also getting shorter, now 8-9 days, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that we must produce shorter video ads – however that is not always possible. An interactive video ad allows the user to stop the video and consult content within the ad and spend the amount of time required to get the info/answers sought.

Tribal Fusion also had developed a special video ad player platform which wraps lots of useful and relevant content around the main video ad. These may include other videos, a photo gallery, addresses and / or coordinates where the advertisers is available / can be reached, social media links and text explaining more about the product or service. Moreover, this can also come with a 4 question quick survey to find out more about the exposed audience.

Rogers Digital Media presented a case study where Nissan sponsored a brand new video content offering called “Shorts in the City.” Many examples of the content along with product insertion within the content were presented.

Post Media presented a case study of short Family Guy clips available only on a mobile app presented by Subway.

Finally, Microsoft Advertising presented a case study where GM integrated both MSN.ca and XBOX 360 LIVE in association with the launch of the new game Halo ODST (last XMAS). Did you know that 35% of video gamers are women? 74% of gamers play many times weekly. 35% will spend upwards of 7 hours a week playing, 24% will spend between 4 to 6 hours. The older the gamer, the more likely he is to play on a computer where as the younger ones play on mobile devices. This particular campaign on XBOX included a content, special content and attractive downloads (over 40 000 themes were downloaded).

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