Video ads outscore other formats by all measures of effectiveness – and none more so than ‘rewarded’ video ads. MEF Minute talked to market analyst On Device Research about the impact of this rising medium…

Facebook recently gave game developers a new ad option: rewarded video.

The logical reaction to this news from market watchers was: what took you so long?

Rewarded video, for those that don’t know, is a format that gives app users the option to watch an ad in exchange for a reward inside the game.

Typically, these ads are short, full-screen and non-interruptible (once you have agreed to watch). At the end of the viewing session, the gamer gets some kind of bonus. Points, extra lives, a playing tip.

And gamer is the key word here. After all, the format self-evidently works best inside games, where players are always looking for help to complete missions and jump levels.

Facebook is working with Unity Technologies on its platform. Unity is an obvious choice, given its support for rewarded video in the past. Indeed, in its own research, it found that 71 per cent of gamers said watching video ads is their preferred way to “pay” for game content.

Meanwhile, more than half (54 per cent) specifically chose rewarded video. 78 per cent said they were open to engaging with video ads for in-game rewards.

These positive numbers come as no surprise to mobile-centric market watcher On Device Research.

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 14.52.26In June it published a report revealing the extraordinary dominance of video as an ad format for mobile. It showed how video is outscoring all banners, interstitials etc in the two key areas of ad recall and purchase intent.

The impact is greatest in automotive, where On Device Research noted an average uplift in ad recall of +9 per cent.

Alistair Hill, CEO of On Device Research, says: “We found mobile video outscores other formats when it comes to advertising inside apps. And of all the mobile video options, rewarded video is the best performer.”

Hill believes big brands must not underestimate the rise of mobile video. It’s accelerating the switch from traditional TV to new digital channels. And this, he argues, has the potential to re-shape the consumer landscape.

“We’ve been doing studies looking into the types of media people are using, and it’s obvious that people are moving from broadcast TV to Netflix, YouTube and apps. Everyone knows this.

“But we’ve noted that some major FMCG brands are still behind the trend. They’re still running mass market campaigns, and their sales are flatlining. This is how big change happens. People go into shops and the brands are not being re-enforced by the ads they see. And there’s a long, slow decline.”

Further On Device Research studies show that there is a significant gap between what consumers like, and how brands spend. Specifically, it revealed that just 16 per cent of mobile campaigns are video, despite consumers obvious preference for the format.

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