Wait.

This can’t be right.

Surely, nobody loves advertising!

Well, aside from marketers themselves, and the people who attend The Night of the AdEaters.”

Or do they?

Here’s the truth:

While traditional ads are on the decline, interactive video advertising is stronger and more effective than ever, according to every metric that matters. Even as far back as 2013, Forrester reported that interactive video smashed industry averages, showing numbers like these:

  • Average viewing time of 3-4 minutes (compared to ~30s with regular video ads)…
  • Completion rates of up to 90% (unheard of in the industry)…
  • Repeated viewing (when does anyone re-watch a regular ad?)…
  • Increased clickthrough rates and conversions (sometimes at 14x the industry average)…

There’s only one explanation that makes sense: consumers genuinely, deeply enjoy interactive video ads! And in this week’s post, we’re going to dig deep into all the reasons why.

Namely, we’ll discuss the top 3 reasons interactive video advertising is a game-changer for marketers and business owners — and what it means for you.

We’ll start at the beginning — with the slow, painful demise of conventional ads…

1. The growing distrust of traditional ads

“Advertising doesn’t work on me!”

“As soon as I see an ad, I tune out.”

“I don’t buy anything through ads.”

Chances are, you’ve heard these phrases before. Maybe you even say them on occasion. And while we have ample proof that traditional advertising still works… there’s a grain of truth to these statements.

For starters, there’s a growing demographic of people who distrust traditional advertising and actively avoid it: millennials and Gen Z. Studies like this one say that at least 84% of millennials don’t like or trust the ads they see. The combined purchasing power of these two generations will soon confront marketers with a conundrum: millions of potential customers who… Just. Don’t. Care.

Don’t care about traditional advertising, that is.

To make matters worse, tools like ad blockers make it very easy to avoid most adverts altogether: to the point that businesses relying on ad revenue are seeing their profit margins shrivel and their advertisers leave them for something with a higher ROI.

Add to that the fact that all of us are bombarded with 4,000+ advertising messages on any given day… is it any wonder that customers are fed up and desensitized?

In this situation, brands need to find a more effective way to cut through the noise and grab their customers’ attention — and that’s where interactive video advertising comes in.

How interactive video advertising helps:

The history of advertising is like Pokemon, in a way.

No, really! Just bear with us for a bit…

The earliest ads were painfully unsophisticated. They were feeble, low-quality things that are almost pitiful to look at. It was considered the height of persuasion mastery to write the word “FREE” in all caps 4 times, just to get people’s attention!

It took some time for those things to evolve into flyers, long-form direct mail, and highly visual, carefully crafted ads we see today.

Then, sound came. Radio advertising became ubiquitous. For a long time, it afforded marketers access to millions of households all over the US and beyond.

After that, it was time for video — and that captured attention even better than sound or text or images could on their own.

And the Internet gave marketers and business owners a terrific playground for spreading their message on a global scale.

Interactivity is the logical next step. Making the message even more persuasive, even more real — in the form of virtual reality and interactive video content.

It’s not the “final form” of the advertising Pokemon, by any stretch. But it’s the most evolved one by far. And because of that, it now outperforms everything that came before.

But the novelty is just part of the story…

2. The experiential nature of interactive video advertising

Have you ever sat down to watch one episode of that Netflix show you really like, or read a good book for five minutes, or just watch TV for a bit…

…and then 3 hours later, you’re wondering what happened, and if you’re going to get anything useful done today?

We’ve all been there. People are great at consuming content — it’s in our nature.

And the best content — the most engaging content — works not because it encourages passive consumption, but because it makes us react. It elicits a response, and makes us want more.

Traditional advertising can’t accomplish this very well. Like, at all.

Most ads you see will talk at you, not to you. They will make you sit through a fixed amount of time and hope to make enough of an impression so you’d remember the product when you see it in the future. The best ones will leave you with a specific, immediate call to action.

But that’s about it.

Whatever form such an ad might take, this is not very engaging.

 

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How interactive video advertising helps:

“So,” you might say, “interactive video is engaging. Okay. But so is a good movie, or a bingeable TV show. What’s so special about it?”

When your customer hits “Play” on an interactive video, it bears a literal meaning. It’s not a call to play the video, but an invitation to participate in the experience. To, well, play!

That’s the big difference between interactive video and all other ads. They don’t expect you to sit through them and wait for the sales pitch. The focus is not on the oncoming offer, but on the experience of the content itself. And that’s a good thing!

People don’t like being sold to. But they sure love to experience something new and unusual! In this way, interactive video advertising is closer to a short, bite-sized game than an actual video.

That’s why you see terms like “gamified interactive experience” cropping up everywhere. Some of them even have failure states — the viewer can mess up and do something wrong! Like in this playful exploration of what it’s like to be a skilled con artist…

This last point is important. We’ll get back to it very shortly — which brings us to reason #3…

3. The viewer’s agency

Traditional advertising puts consumers in a disempowered position.

For starters, it’s everywhere. There’s no escaping it short of exiling yourself to a cave on the dark side of the moon. And more often than not you see the same ads multiple times with zero variation.

For that last one, let’s “thank” the great minds who came up with the effective frequency concept!

Is it any wonder that, like we said before, nobody likes being sold to? And your customers are no exception. Even if the product or service being advertised is something they actually want or need, it’s still an imposition. It still feels intrusive.

And that impacts how they perceive your offer (hint: negatively).

Very slowly, we are moving away from tricking consumers into seeing ads whether they want them to or not — and into a future where they can call the shots over what they see, when they see it, and how they can shape the experience.

One of these trends is personalization. Another one is interactivity. Let’s talk about the latter for a bit, because it has a much bigger impact on how your customers feel about your message…

How interactive video advertising helps:

Here’s a (hopefully) helpful analogy:

Traditional advertising is like someone showing you their vacation pictures… whether you’re interested or not. The destination might be on your bucket list since 2009, but the presentation and the context just makes the whole situation feel like an ordeal.

Interactive video advertising is like someone asking you to tag along for the trip for a few minutes, if such a thing were logistically and technically possible. You’re free to explore, choose what you want to do, and experience it on your own terms.

This takes the pressure off. When you know you’re in control, there’s no impetus to skip, close the tab, or quit. You want to see how the experience ends. And you wonder: can it end another way? Can you do something wrong and “fail” it?

As we mentioned before, many interactive experiences have failure states, so they feel more like a game with multiple outcomes, and not a fixed path to one specific result. This accomplishes two goals:

  1. The viewer becomes more invested in the process, increasing engagement.
  2. The desire to “do it right” leads to another attempt — sometimes several.

That’s why interactive video advertising has completion rates of up to 90 percent, and why most viewers choose to complete it more than once. You can’t get the same effect with a regular ad!

Want to try interactive video advertising? Let’s talk!

If you market your business with video, why not kick things up a notch and add interactive experiences to your arsenal? You might want to consider this, especially if you market to a younger, more tech-savvy audience who is tired of traditional ads.

You can leverage interactive video advertising to:

  • Generate high-quality leads with laser-focused targeting and segmentation.
  • Get people to watch your ads more than once without spending more money… or alienating them in the process!
  • Increase conversions for your lead capture and sales campaigns, without spending every waking hour optimizing and tweaking every little thing.
  • Create word-of-mouth buzz for your products or services — just by virtue of having something new and unusual that people will want to share.

And more — the choice is yours!

If you think you would benefit from an awesome animated interactive video ad, let’s talk about it. We’ll happily discuss your ideas, help you strategize and refine the topic — and come up with an exciting way to use your future video to grow your business.

Contact us today to book a no-cost, risk-free pow wow to discuss your interactive video animation. You can do that by clicking here — or just fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch with you post-haste!