Interactive Advertising: 4 Unexpected Ways to Use Video

With video slated to make up 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019, it’s no wonder video is one of the best ways to capture a user’s attention. But with so much internet noise, keeping a user’s attention for more than five seconds is harder than ever.

That’s why interactive video ads have become the new boon for video marketers. Thanks to increasingly shortening attention spans, interactive ads are now getting more creative than ever, drawing in viewers and enticing them to spend more time with their corporate sponsors, actively engaging and participating with ads in a way that’s never been seen before.

Take a look at just some of the stats we’ve seen thanks to the rise of interactive ads.

Let’s review some of the ways interactive video ads are bursting onto the scene and changing the video marketing game.

4 Ways to Use Interactive Video Ads

Display ads are one of the oldest types of online ads, and probably one of the most hated. Users are so used to seeing display ads – those banner ads that can run almost anywhere on your screen, including the top, bottom, right, or left-hand side of a webpage – that its led to banner blindness. Users now completely ignore these ads, but their cost is so low, brands everywhere continue to use them to great success.

But these ads are not usually ignored because of their ubiquity or their placement, but rather, the video and stills used in these ads are usually boring, and, well, ignorable. With the right video, your ad can actually stand out, capture attention, and stick in the viewer’s mind for longer.

Volkswagen created a fun and imaginative video to engage users who stumbled on their display ad. The ad invited users to type in a command, and the car on screen would abide. It’s fun, creative, and allows the viewer to engage over and over again.

Or, take a look at this ad from interactive content agency Zembula. With a simple, moving hand icon, they created a paint-and-play ad that uncovers a secret message, making for a memorable and interactive experience.

Interactive end cards, or IECs, are interactive cards that appear at the end of a video ad which enable consumers to play or engage with the ad long after it’s over. They might provide some kind of in-app incentive or reward, but always encourage completion of an action and typically present a CTA that drives to the brand’s website.

YouTube was the first video player to offer interactive end cards, though their end cards only allowed a small number of actions to be completed, like subscribing or linking to other videos. Now, most creative agencies as well as video players offer this option to brands in order to drive up ad engagement and click-throughs.

If there’s a type of video that garners a lot of interaction, you know Facebook is quick to adopt it! That’s exactly what they’re doing after seeing the success of interactive ads across the web. Both Facebook and Instagram are now offering interactive ad units, which allow users to see and engage with interactive ads right in their newsfeed. These ads allow users to not only engage with the ad, but also submit their personal information, take quizzes, and sometimes even shop directly from the Facebook or Instagram app.

Because of the highly specialized targeting brands now have at their fingertips, these units are considered win-win: Brands will see a greater return from their ad spend thanks to the ads’ high relevance, and consumers will love the interactivity and engaging elements they previously hadn’t experienced.

Plus, because these ads are still social, they’ll be shareable and available in vertical or horizontal orientations.

This sample ad from Newsfeed Smartapps shows off some of the functionality that will be available to brands once the interactive features hit the mainstream.

Though this type of interactive ad does especially well in the gaming industry, brands in other industries are finding creative ways to use gamified ads to get their message across. Gamified ads, also known as playable ads, are ads that use gaming concepts and strategies to entice user participation and engagement. You play a game for a short while, for instance, and then win a prize in the form of a discount, coupon, or extra life. If it’s a gamified ad for an actual mobile game, the makers hope that short amount of playtime will be enough to hook a long-term player.

In the next five years, 87 percent of North American retailers are planning to use gamification to engage customers. And, according to Nielsen, two-thirds of the U.S. population regularly plays video games on a mobile phone or console. The challenge for brands then becomes finding a natural and intuitive way to tie gamified ads into the branded ad experience.

Gamified ads also use other techniques, like motivating users to completion with progress bars, points, and guided competition to get the user engaged.

This example from Fruit Loops does just that. The viewer is urged to tap “Play Now” in order to start a match-three style game featuring none other than Fruit Loops themselves.

Source: IronSource

How to Make Your Video Interactive

Wondering how you can create a fun, interactive ad all your users will remember? While a lot of these ads take high technological skill to create and help from an interactive mobile agency to implement, there are simpler ways you can create an interactive experience.

Take a look at our blog post on the subject: How to Make Your Video Interactive.

It outlines some simple tips you can use to make an interactive video, including branching (where you get to pick the video’s narrative), 360 videos (where you’re immersed in every angle of the video), linking (where you can click links to a brand’s store or website), and more. And if you need more help with video advertising and distribution, we’ve got a guide for that, too!

Until interactive video technology is more common, including augmented reality cameras and native social integrations, these are great ways to create an interesting and engaging video for your users. If you’ve got a talented HTML or CSS programmer and graphic designer or animator on your team, you already have the resources you need to create a beautiful display ad. Test the limits and see what you can come up!

Need help brainstorming? Our producers are ready to help you and your company brainstorm your next great video. Schedule a 15-minute creative call to get started.

Laura Cueva

Laura Cueva