Ice, Ice, Maybe: Are Pre-Roll Ads a Good Idea? (Part 2)

Pre-Roll Ads Part 2

Ice, Ice, Maybe: Are Pre-Roll Ads a Good Idea? (Part 2)

Not all video marketing is a surefire hit; pre-roll ads can be deceptively slippery. In this three-part series, learn why it’s important to do pre-roll well, how to deliver a great pre-roll ad—and how to avoid getting the cold shoulder from your customers.

As we discussed in Part 1, ad men with new marketing toys are a lot like Midwesterners in the year’s first snowfall—despite years of experience, we forget the rules of the road, and we make costly mistakes.
And what’s the newest error-prone marketing toy?
Pre-roll video ads: online promotional videos that run in front of a viewer’s selected content.
We all seek out Internet videos—we want to see them. But nobody goes out looking for pre-roll ads—they are an interruption and a nuisance. Bad pre-roll videos add up to lost marketing dollars and irritated customers.
Good pre-roll is out there (we’ll discuss how to create it in Part 3), but the bad stuff is easier to spot. Here are some ways marketers drive your campaign into a ditch using pre-roll:

Repurposing television ads

Internet users have even shorter attention spans than television viewers, and they respond to—and expect—vastly different marketing approaches. The generation that grew up with TiVo won’t be able to skip your pre-roll ads fast enough.

Using long videos

Ask yourself how much you like waiting at a 15-second stoplight. Don’t mind it, you say? How about waiting for 30 seconds? A minute? Three minutes? Now add a bee in the front seat and a screaming toddler in the back. Congratulations: You just entered the impatient, anxious, angry headspace of a customer waiting for his or her video while watching your pre-roll ad—someone who now associates disproportionate rage with your brand.

Educating your audience

Who here likes cake? Excellent. But first—who here would like an underpaid actor to read the ingredient list on the back of the Duncan Hines box before they can eat their cake? Anyone? What if we add a funky corporate music bed? Wait—where are you going?

Don’t give up! Good pre-roll does exist, but it needs solid strategy behind it.

Next week—Tips for creating a great pre-roll ad.