What is pre-roll advertising?

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Pre-roll advertising is online video ads that automatically appear before content selected by a user.  We’ve all seen them…click on an interview you want to watch and a promotional message appears first.  Remarkably, almost half of users watch these messages to the end even though they have an option to skip it after the first five seconds.  So they’re pretty effective and efficient.  And we want to keep them that way.

Right now, most pre-roll ads are edited versions of  TV spots, usually to reduce the length of the video.  That can work in some cases, but steps must be taken to improve the format to prevent user backlash to use of pre-roll proliferates.  Seeing too many of these messages can be annoying, particularly on mobile devices when users want immediacy and unrequested video uses data and may result in extra charges.

The first step is to create messages specifically for the format instead of just editing traditional TV video.  Get the critical message into the first five seconds in anticipation of the ads being deleted more often instead of watched to completion.  Then be judicious in placement to prevent users from seeing the same message over and over again.

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