Serious buzz about multichannel video advertising

Monday, November, 19 2012

Repurposed :30s a key to Comcast Spotlight online ad strategy

By: Stewart Schley Monday, November, 19 2012

Take the commercial from a local cable ad campaign, add some spice with interactive and social media flourishes, plant the spot on Xfinity.com and enjoy.

That’s Comcast Spotlight’s recipe for blending the new and the old in video advertising to come up with a fresh formula for achieving unduplicated reach extension in the multi-screen video era -- without demanding a start-from-scratch creative update.

The idea of repurposing existing television creative to achieve an immediate online presence is a big part of Comcast Spotlight’s strategy for participating in the burgeoning online video advertising marketplace, which grew revenues 29% to $1.8 billion last year in U.S. ad spend, according to Pricewaterhousecoopers and the Internet Advertising Bureau .

Mindful that many clients are resistant to adding production complexity to their television campaigns, Comcast Spotlight is recommending that clients double-dip by extending existing :30 TV spots onto Comcast’s web platform. Those spots can be either embedded as pre-roll videos or threaded into in-banner video messages that are surrounded with interactive elements like click-to-get coupons or social media sharing functionality. Agencies seem to be on board: “More of our clients are repurposing their existing television ads than not,” said Scott Davis, EVP of Harmelin Media in Philadelphia.

Xfinity.com role
For Comcast, the primary launchpad is Xfininty.com, Comcast’s house-brand web portal that draws in visitors by serving as a sort of central control point for cable service management tasks like remote DVR programing and voice-mail retrieval. Because Xfinity.com can serve up ad content based on precise subscriber billing addresses, advertisers are able to lock in the same geographic zones in which their linear :30 commercials appear on television.

Comcast Spotlight and several ad-agency executives championed the idea of mixing traditional local TV campaigns with web presence in a webinar presented last  week with Adweek.

Agency specialists said a multi-screen approach is essential for fulfilling reach objectives in a world where many consumers – especially younger, affluent individuals – are eschewing traditional television screens for video over PCs, tablets and mobile smartphones. “We’re just responding by following where the audience goes,” said Harmelin Media’s Davis. He added that “the old days of 100 percent of the population watching television are over.” Fraser Elliott, SVP and Media Director for Cramer-Krasselt in Phoenix, observed that television and online usage curves “are almost perfect inverses of each other,” with heavy TV users indexing lighter on Internet exposure, and the heaviest Internet users devoting relatively little time to television.

With that in mind, agency planners are advising clients to adopt multi-screen media approaches that accommodate Internet users who are difficult to reach with traditional TV campaigns. A bonus: recent studies from Nielsen, Google suggest that Internet video advertising is better than television at establishing brand recall and favorable sponsor impressions.

For Comcast to play a significant role, the company must convince advertisers that Xfinity.com is an effective destination for online video presence in a marketplace that’s crowded with online video competitors and several prominent online video ad-brokerage firms that put together syndicated networks where video ads appear. One advantage Comcast and other cable companies possess, though, is the ability to easily repurpose local campaign creative for web display.

“If you want to get started with multi-screen, the quick and easy way to do it is to repurpose that same 30-second spot you’re already using,” said Mike Miller, Comcast Spotlight VP of Interactive Media.



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