VIEQUES, PR — What are the right length and the right context for a video ad, and can you place them on any and every device? That was the topic of a panel debate, convened by Beet.TV at its retreat, involving executives from major advertising and publishing firms:

  • YuMe chief revenue officer Scot McLernon
  • Facebook global agency lead David Dugan
  • Ansable global president Travis Johnson (also has title Global Head of Mobile, IPG Mediabrands)
  • Jun Group media sales EVP Daniel Frisbie

If you thought there was a limit to the screens in which video ads could run, Ansable’s Johnson said he is looking at putting ads on connected fridges, and: “We’re working with some auto manufacturers on how they can monetise the operating system within their cars, placing video ads on them is an option.”

Videos – and the ads which fund them – are expanding to fit the medium that hosts them. That is changing how ads should be crafted to achieve best fit and maximum effect.

Facebook’s Dugan said his network’s consumption had boomed toward mobile in just three short years. Now, Facebook is urging advertisers to think differently about how they create video ads for a mobile world.

“On average, we’ve found that people on mobile News Feed spend 1.7 seconds looking at each Post, vs. 2.5 seconds on desktop,” he said. “To have effective branding on mobile, it’s got to be punchy, it’s got to be short, you’ve got to find a way for the first few seconds to break through. We see people interested in long-form content – the trick is, how do you engage people early enough?” The answer, Dugan said, is to include branding early, include subtitles and overlay videos with text for audio-off viewers.

As media change before our eyes, advertisers are challenged to think and re-think about the appropriate ad formats for particular content models.

“You don’t want to put a two-minute ad on 30-second content,” YuMe’s McLernon said, echoing what has become an accepted conventional wisdom. “But that might actually be the place for a native ad.”

Dugan said Facebook is pushing to encourage more video consumption where, otherwise, it might have been challenging, using a save-for-later feature and a suggested-videos, discovery feature.

But, despite fridges and cars, the TV screen still looks like being a hot video consumption format. “A key trend for us for the year ahead is appified TV,” Ansable’s Johnson added, citing the example of Apple TV.

This video was produced at the Beet.TV executive retreat presented by Videology.  You can find more videos from the session here.

The panel was moderated by Furious Corp CEO and founder Ashley J. Swartz.