AOL is boosting its programmatic advertising strategy, announcing that it has added video to its premium ad platform with five formats available to advertisers. Meanwhile, Yahoo said that its integrated marketing play with Honda saw big results in terms of viewers' brand awareness.
For AOL, the premium ads will run across its AOL On platform and are accessible through its ONE by AOL ad platform as well.
The company plans to further expand the new premium video ad format into mobile advertising "later this year," according to a news release, which aligns with its new parent Verizon's planned launch of an ad-supported, mobile-first OTT video service.
Its five new video ad formats are Linear Expandable, which gives viewers a microsite overlay to interact with if they click on a video ad; Linear Modules, which places interactive icons into a pre-roll video ad; Linear Sequence, which offers viewers an interactive end-frame after a video ad plays; Branded Slate, which gives advertisers a 7-second animated branding opportunity ahead of a video; and Branded Skip, which gives users the option to skip a video ad.
Ostensibly, the addition of premium video ads is a way to meet advertiser demand for "new ways to naturally engage with audiences," according to a statement by AOL's David Miller, VP of advertising product management. He added that "advertisers can combine the power of traditional pre-roll with new interactive experiences that enables consumers to engage directly with a brand's content and information."
But the addition is also a way to capitalize on the popularity of premium programmatic video ads, a segment that YouTube proved is in high demand by quickly selling out its Google Preferred category after debuting it last year. Top-ranked advertisers are also increasingly committing to YouTube's planned subscription service, which may launch at the end of this year.
Former (and likely continuing) competitor Yahoo saw a 60 percent leap in revenue among its online video interests in the second quarter, partly due to the introduction of two new video advertising formats -- another factor in AOL's push to offer more format options.
Yahoo, meanwhile, has been focusing a good part of its efforts on integrated marketing campaigns. The company previously worked with Kia on a campaign in April, integrated across its online video platforms and its search engine. For the sixth season of Community, however, Yahoo appears to have scored high with its integrated campaign with Honda.
"Brand favorability increased by four times among those who watched the seventh episode, which showcased the most significant branded integration," Yahoo said in a media release. "Brand recall was very high among viewers -- 95 percent for the Honda CR-V and 88 percent for the Honda Fit. Viewers were ultimately more likely to think about a purchase, too; 50 percent said they were more likely to buy a Honda product after watching an episode featuring the brand."
Yahoo has been researching the heck out of its integrated campaigns: This time it added "biometric" analysis to its study of the campaign's results, measuring the "emotional and cognitive resonance" of the Honda ads and branding around Community's seventh episode. Additionally, a hashtag created around the episode delivered 29 million Twitter impressions in its first week.
While Yahoo didn't offer a results comparison with other integrated campaigns, it did note that more than half of Community's viewers "are new to Yahoo" but engaged with more content on the website than its average new users do.
- see this AOL release
- and this Yahoo announcement
As YouTube viewing time jumps 60 percent, advertisers line up to reach users
Yahoo sees 60% revenue growth in online video interests