Blogs & Comment

Important questions must be asked if we’re to get serious about video

Rayan Karaky is chief digital officer at SMG MENA

“If you walked into a media agency in the past year, chances are you overheard or came across the standard vocabulary describing the rise of online video; from video neutral planning to incremental reach, to video convergence across devices.

For marketers and agencies video is changing the game, mostly for all the wrong reasons. Many argue that budgets now have to be re-allocated; that TV plans are to now carry the likes of YouTube, Shahid or any other video platform. Occasionally you will also see them discussing online video sponsorships or product integration within YouTube-based shows, but unfortunately the vast majority are only considering video purely as a generator of incremental reach for TV campaigns.

The truth is video is changing a lot more than that. Here’s a series of questions that the market needs to start asking if we are to get serious about video.

If people could, with just a press of a button, skip a TV ad five seconds after it started, would we still produce that $1 million 60-second TVC? If I can get accurate real time data from most devices about viewing habits, am I getting the same from my TV? If consumers view video as one regardless of device, how close are we from single source data that paints a better picture of that convergence?

During Ramadan we witnessed a huge volume of social discussion around most TV shows. In many cases these spikes in conversation correlated with repeats or, more so, with online viewing. Shahid is giving consumers a chance to catch up, or re-watch their favourite segments of shows, and that is driving a wave of sharing and commentary. All that means the longevity of video now goes way beyond the first airing on TV. How are advertisers benefiting from that beyond running their TV copy? And are media agencies doing enough to find answers to all these questions? The race is on but there are few runners.”