If pounds don’t necessarily follow eyeballs, how can we make video advertising online more efficient?
The Stone Roses reunion should never have happened – as far as I’m concerned if you weren’t there the first time, make your own history. We spend too much time looking back. What’s interesting though is that the warm glow of nostalgia can fundamentally affect our view of what actually happened.
The Stone Roses show at Spike Island back in 1990 was generally considered a failure at the time due to hooky sound and shoddy organisation. Now we remember it as pretty much Woodstock. The point is that for most of the time since then it’s been nigh on impossible to separate fact from fiction – unless you were there.
Compare this with the recent Heaton Park shows, and what 20 years of technological innovation has meant for opinion forming. Thanks to everything being internet-connected these days (internet-connected cows anyone?), I could tell relatively quickly, despite not being there, that Brown’s vocals haven’t improved with time, and that the organisation was again pretty grim – witness the bar raid footage doing the rounds. I could watch crowd-sourced video footage online, on almost any device, whilst the show was still happening.
This is bad news for nostalgia, good news for objectivity, and a stark illustration of the challenges facing anyone in our industry trying to make sense of this fundamental rewiring of how people function, communicate and form opinions (and how we go about selling them stuff). It also throws the old ad spend adage of “pounds follow eyeballs” into disarray, or certainly ‘efficient’ pounds.
Why? Well, we watch more video online now, meaning we spend more money on video advertising online. We also know how often we need to communicate our brand message to someone in order to generate maximum impact and minimal annoyance, so marrying those two together should be a simple equation. But it isn’t, because I can watch Brown’s warbling vocal on any number of different screens, probably a number of times due to the car crash nature of it, and probably in different social contexts.
This can be on my mobile when someone first sent me it (“I’ve just seen this”), or on the TV when my friends are round (“have you seen this?”). Because my eyeballs are registering on each medium as a weight of audience, the pounds are following me.
But because you don’t know I’ve watched it more than once across multiple devices, the efficient pounds aren’t following me. That presents a massive challenge as you can’t tell if you’ve maximised reach and controlled efficiency (assuming the former at least is an objective of the campaign).
That’s pretty scary to me – it feels like a recipe for serious wastage. In my view it’s never been more important that we find a way of fixing it.