Postcards from London - How To Combine TV & Digital Video?


As the Sydney winner of the Carat Scholarship, my prize included three week's work experience in the Carat London office. Last week I had the opportunity to meet with our team from around the globe and talk in-depth about TV and online video planning.

We really delved into the detail of the status of online video within each market, and spoke about the challenges and opportunities of one of the major topics of media for 2015; a combined TV and online video planning approach. I thought I’d share some of my key take-outs from these discussions. Measurement was a hot topic within these discussions.

There is a real need for combined TV and online video tools, both for planning & outcome measurement, but how do we equally value a TV spot and an online video impression? A TV spot is considered an ‘opportunity to see’ as we don’t know if the audience is directly watching the spot. How do we classify an online video ad impression or view? This very much differs by platform, for example a Facebook video view may be classified as 3s, a user could hover over an auto play video for a few seconds before scrolling on. A view on YouTube could be classified as 30s (depending on the buy). TrueView also takes into consideration a large portion of users who viewed a video for a certain amount of time (potentially up to 29s), however these may not be classified as views due to the buying model. There is very different value of a view across TV and online video platforms. Creating a tool to accurately measure combined TV and online video (whether it be for planning, buying or outcome) proves to be quite difficult.

One point of discussion was around video content and if we are should be creating video content specifically for the online audience first, and then amending this content for TV? The benefit here is that the brand is really able to create a story specific to their audience that can be longer than the traditional 30s. Instead of thinking ‘what can we do within 15 or 30s?’ the question would more simply be ‘what engaging brand story can we tell?’. My perspective is that we should be creating content based on the medium that it will be appearing on. The audiences in both environments consume media differently, and expect content to be delivered differently, so where possible brand content should reflect this and be created specifically for the medium.

I was fortunate to visit the Facebook offices (a magical place with snack spots around each corner, a popcorn machine, every cuisine available under the sun, and even a TIME CRISIS machine, awesome!). The Facebook team talked us through what products are currently in market and we looked at best practice Facebook video campaigns from around the globe.

One key takeout for me was that video on Facebook is growing fast. There was 50% growth in video views from May to July 2014 alone! I had never really thought about the huge uptake of video on Facebook that happened over 2014. Our newsfeeds went from video scarcity, to video being quite a common occurrence. The Facebook team discussed how this happened so fluidly, almost without users noticing. What this came down to was, surprisingly the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Facebook has described this as a ‘watershed’ moment (pun intended). The craze absolutely swept Facebook and taught the everyday user not only how upload a video (which a huge proportion of users had not previously), but also to become familiar with videos within their newsfeeds. This watershed moment was the perfect platform for brands to really start utilising video within the platform.

I also met with the Google team in the UK and our discussion focused on YouTube as a platform. One of the topics spoken about was around how YouTube can work with broadcast TV. The key ways identified included supplying incremental reach and frequency, working supportively (TVC driving people to YouTube), being smart about repurposing TV creative for YouTube (or visa-versa), and a more unified approach, for example utilising a YouTube influencer within a TVC.

We had some amazing presentations around creative best practice which really focused on assuring the brand tells a story (e.g. Always – Like a Girl). There is significant value in harnessing YouTube influencers who already have an audience base, amplifying relevant cultural events (e.g. World Cup). There are some brands that are creating specific video content for YouTube and really being smart about the platform. A great example of this is Burger King NZ ( creating 64 different variations of their video and being very creative around their targeting.

Overall this was a really fantastic experience where I was able to network with talent from around the globe and learn about differences in markets. It gave me a strong overview of the status of online video and the benefits and difficulties surrounding a combined TV and online video approach.

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