As advertisers and video marketing agencies become more emboldened with the creative for online advertising the approval ratings and the views have skyrocketed. By embracing the gifts of the YouTube interface and the myriad of options with HTML5 the bar is consistently being taken to new heights, with interactivity, competition and serialisation key to many of the successes.
Even the dastardly pre-role ads, irritating as they may be when you just want to watch a music video are getting more creative, even developing their own in-jokes with all the self-awareness and self-loathing of a stand-up comedian. The current pre-roll for the movie "This Is The End" is a perfect example of this, with the stars James Franco and Seth Rogen et al pressing themselves up against the screen imploring the viewer not to skip.
With comment and opinion as much a part of the Internet and YouTube as cats and pictures of self-harm on Tumblr it only makes sense that advertisers and creative's should use the willingness of the online viewers to get interactive with their ads. This can make competitions particularly fruitful for advertisers with the average viewer plugged into all their social media extensions at once thereby spreading the views across a number of platforms.
Serialisation in ads used to mean Giles from Buffy flirting over a coffee, the will they or won't they BT couple and the now self-effacing Opera singer plugging a comparison site. TV advertising is full of it - treating the ad breaks like programmes of their own. Does anyone really care what the Meercats are up to though? This is where online advertising is succeeding.
A new spot from Heineken entitled 'Dropped' features a series of real people dropped into unreal situations who we watch complete tasks in a series of episodes. There are two more films already scheduled but the last spot is up for grabs for one lucky contest winner.
The concept makes for a great combination of the reality TV style ads that we have seen from Heineken in the form of their job applicant baiting Champion's League spot and their more cinematic and epic 'hero's journey' advertisements.
It's a great use of interactivity, competition & social media and serialisation, concepts that if used correctly can make for great successes online and more importantly raise the profile of online advertising, taking it away from the realms of something we all have to watch and making it more of something we want to watch, revisit and perhaps most importantly - buy into.