Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pre-Roll ads suck and no one likes them

I had an interesting sit-down this week with some of the minds over at Washington Post Digital and the subject of pre-roll video ads came up. Or I brought it up maybe. Either way, I found myself launching into a sort of uncensored tirade about how I despise them, their ineffectiveness, etc.

I've never understood why advertisers seem so enamored with video. For awhile I thought it must be that the assets translated somehow from existing TV ad assets, so it was easy for an agency to get online video assets together. Maybe the analytics methods were so flawed that agencies thought that they were reaching an engaged audience. Maybe there was such a glut of video inventory that content owners were giving that space away.

Personally, I can't think of the last time I've actually stuck around to watch an ad, regardless of how badly I wanted to see the video that was to follow. And apparently I'm not alone. Mashable just posted an article about the increasing frequency of pre (and post) roll ads on YouTube, along with an example of some of the user comments, which seem to be directing their anger at both YouTube and the particular advertiser (CBS in this case). I get that YouTube is losing money, but judging by the response so far, maybe they should consider leaving the video alone, and just wallpapering everything else with ads.

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