With production simpler than ever, interactive video’s time has come (again)

Posted by Tony Rose on April 25th, 2013 at 10:26 am

Interactive video has been around now for more than five years. During that time, the innovation within the format has been staggering – particularly in the auto, telecom and finance sectors where advertisers have really pushed the limits. We’ve seen units that included branded games, quizzes, polls, emails to a friend and more. That innovation didn’t come easy, of course; each player had its own custom solution, and there were constant updates to keep up with. But the value of the medium more than made up for the complexity. These innovative ad experiences were not only highly engaging for the consumer, but also valuable to agencies and their clients – with interactive elements that could capture consumer insights in new ways.

So what happened? What’s behind the decline in both the creativity and volume of these ad units?

TV buyers are gaining even more control over the inventories that used to be dedicated to interactive video, and they seem to favor dedicating a higher and higher percentage of the buy to non-interactive pre-roll video. The question is why – when interactive formats have been so beneficial for both engagement and measurability?

One likely cause is the perception that interactive video is too complex to develop and buy compared to pre-roll. The fact, however, is that that both buy and the development of interactive units have come a long way, and the process is actually simpler than ever.

Advertisers looking for more engagement and insight can make the move to interactive with very little effort. Provide an ISCI code and minimal assets to a capable partner, and you can produce an interactive video unit that will not only capture user attention but also provide engagement metrics to help you continually improve the online experience.

Pre-configured interactive video templates, seamless production integration, easy linking with social media and even location-based tools make interactive video far less complex than most advertisers have come to believe. Yes, it requires finding a capable partner with an integrated video toolset – but that’s about as complex as it gets.

The processes and capabilities for developing and serving interactive video have evolved to the point that there is really no excuse for agencies and advertisers to settle for basic pre-roll. The opportunities for insight, engagement and innovation in the interactive realm are huge, and the development barriers are minimal.

It’s time for a new generation to get beyond the complexity myth and take interactive video to the next level.

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