250 Brands and Agencies Share Their Perspective with the FreeWheel Council On How to Improve the Video Ad Experience
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Custom Research Commissioned by Advertiser Perceptions Reveals that 52 Percent of Brands and Agencies Believe Improving the Ad Experience Is the Biggest Challenge Facing the Video Industry

New York, April 3, 2017 — With audience buying and cross-screen TV executions ready to play a much larger role in this year’s Upfronts narrative, advancing the advertising experience is a crucial topic for both buyers and sellers of premium video. The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video (FWC) released today results of a custom research study in partnership with Advertiser Perceptions, revealing that improving the video ad experience was identified as the biggest challenge facing the industry today, by more than half of brand and agency executives surveyed.

Advancing the Ad Experience: 250 Brand & Agency Leaders Share Their Views is the latest position paper by the FWC and offers an in-depth exploration of the complicated equation required to deliver optimal ad experiences as audiences fragment across different screens.  In the survey, 59% of respondents indicated that improving consumers’ video Ad Experience is very important in helping to achieve campaign goals and more than 1 in 3 said that it has a direct impact on advertiser ROI.

“I think the responsibility is shared. Publishers and the technology platform help control the end consumer experience,” said Anna Papadopoulos, Vice President, Integrated Media Services, Prudential. “The piece that we need to take on as brands and as agencies are the quality we end up serving to that person.”

”The industry needs to do a better job collaborating to refine the frequency of exposure across channels and ensure that creative diversity and quality maps to the context and audience,” said James Rothwell, Vice President, Global Brand, Agency & Industry Relations, FreeWheel. “Solving this challenge will require all stakeholders to do their part to steward the elements they can control.”

Managing the exposure to a brand’s messaging across various sources of video supply is not easy, whether managing frequency across media channels, or adjusting creative formats and messaging to account for the different environments available. It is becoming more difficult each day to ask for (and keep) a viewer’s time and attention across fragmented media and screens.

“Marketers and their agencies are still focused on producing video for television; they’re still creating horizontal video that is consumed by the leaning-back consumer or audience,” said Ron Amram, Manager, Global Marketing – Media,  Heineken International. “Meaning, they’re sitting back, watching whatever comes in front of them, and passively watching and consuming video for as long as it’s on there. And agencies still want to create the 60-second spot. But that world doesn’t exist anymore.”

A lack of creative diversity was seen as the most influential reason for a poor advertising experience, highlighting the challenge of exposure frequency, but also a need for appropriate creative budgets allocated by the marketer. Other factors significantly impacting ad experiences identified were heavy ad tags creating latency, disconnects between creative and media executions and a lack of screen-specific executions. Producing the right number of creatives per screen, tailored to those environments puts additional strain on resource and budget allocation.

“The quality of the creative obviously falls on the client and the creative agency. The diversity of creative or number of executions is a collaborative conversation between media, creative and brand,” said Blaise D’Sylva, Vice President, Media, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. “There is a balance between number of executions and cost to produce. If you can get some things done cheaply, you can lean on having more executions. But you don’t want to produce a ton of ads that nobody sees just because you can.”

“It’s important for creative and media teams to have a conversation upfront about what will deliver the best results; both groups need to listen to each other to find the optimal solution. Brands will sometimes play the role of communicator and arbiter, between agencies and between creative,” said Andrew LaFond, Media Director, R/GA. “Agencies need to bring together interdisciplinary thinkers, who can come up with a holistic campaign solution, not a media solution and a creative solution, independent of each other.”

The FWC emphasizes that improving the video ad experience is a shared responsibility across the ecosystem, starting with the brand marketer, pushing for accountability and partnership with their agency partners.  Aligning creative and media planning upfront to ensure synchronized execution, while investing in the appropriate level of creatives per screen will provide diversity, ultimately combating excessive frequency.

Download the complete white paper at /fwcouncil/#freewheel-council-positions.


About the Council for Premium Video

The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video (FWC) serves the interest of those in the premium video industry through leadership positions, research and advocacy for standards for promoting the premium video economy. The FWC operates as an educational and organizing resource to assist marketers to reach desired audiences in premium video environments, conduct research documenting the benefits of premium video and champion the interests of member publishers and the market. The FWC is comprised of today’s leading premium video publishers including ABC, A+E Networks, Comcast, Discovery Communications, ESPN, Fox, NBCUniversal, Turner Broadcasting System and Univision Communications. For more information on the Council for Premium Video please visit www.FreeWheel.tv/fwcouncil and follow us on Twitter @fwcouncil.

About Advertiser Perceptions

Advertiser Perceptions is the global leader in data-driven business intelligence for the advertising industry. Our exclusive insights, practical advice and expert guidance produce solutions that deliver results and enable our clients to thrive in today’s complex and competitive advertising market.