As ad blocking becomes more common, Unruly has launched a new video lab designed to help advertisers tackle the increase in this type of software that’s proving a headache for marketers.
The “Future Video Lab”, based at the video ad tech company’s US HQ in New York aims to help advertisers create video ads people want to watch and share rather than avoid.
The move comes as Apple’s latest operating system launches, letting iPhone and iPad users block ads on websites for the first time.
The Unruly Future Video Lab provides brands and agencies with an interactive overview of the online video ecosystem, customized real-time data for brands and agencies and best practices on how to use targeting and distribution strategies to cut through the clutter and deliver ads that beat the ad blockers and earn consumer attention.
“Our Lab addresses some of the huge challenges facing the ad industry right now. There is so much video content being pumped out by brands into people’s newsfeeds and social feeds, it’s no wonder that people are feeling overwhelmed,” said Unruly’s US President Richard Kosinski. “We’re hurtling towards an ‘ad-pocalypse’, where there’s a risk that internet users will abandon advertising if brands abuse their relationship with consumers. But we are not there yet. We launched the Unruly Future Video Lab to help advertisers reconnect with their target audiences and restore this trust.”
90% ‘would consider ad blockers’
To coincide with the launch, Unruly ran a consumer survey highlighting ‘pain points’ facing digital advertisers and publishers, with more than half of US consumers likely or very likely to use ad blocking software.
It found that that 90% of US consumers would consider using ad blocking software in the future because they think there are too many ads (59%), they are sick of seeing the same ad (52%) and they find ads which “follow them” around the web “creepy” (59%).
Key findings from the survey – which asked 3,200 consumers from around the world what they want from video advertising online – include:
• 30% of US consumers are likely and 22% are very likely to use ad blockers in future, while a total of 90% would consider using them in the future;
• American consumers like to be in control of their advertising viewing, with 71% citing control as very important, and 63% saying they are “annoyed” with brands that advertise using forced pre-roll formats;
• Consistency of brand behavior in advertising is most important to Americans with 74% wanting ads to embody brand values;
• The majority (81%) of US internet users, reveal they regularly put video ads on mute.
The results highlight the growing issues faced by advertisers who are struggling to engage their target audiences online. A recent YouGov survey found that trust in advertising is at an all-time low, and McKinsey has cited that word of mouth is still the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.
Unruly co-founder and Co-CEO Sarah Wood said: “The key to reconnecting with consumers is to forge an authentic, emotional connection, and make advertising a more collaborative experience. The data in the Future Video Lab, helps brands to power up their video content and ensure their video distribution strategy doesn’t alienate the very audience they’re trying to attract.
“The digital video advertising landscape has evolved so rapidly – with viewability, mobile audience data and ad avoidance all becoming critical pain points – that we saw an urgent need to help our clients future-proof their digital video advertising strategies.”
The Unruly Future Video Lab replaces the company’s existing Social Video Lab, which was launched in 2013.
The announcement of the new lab follows on from last week’s news that News Corp acquired the company for a sum of $176m.