Lucas Grindley has a good post on his blog that corresponds with my experience of ads with on-line video. I’ve watched the early episodes of Drive on Fox (partly because I saw that the producer was Twittering about it), which got me interested. But I was getting ready to leave for Las Vegas the night of the premiere, and the next night I was in Vegas, so I didn’t see it live.
I appreciated the opportunity to see the program with ads on web, instead of paying $1.99 on iTunes. I’ve done the purchase deal before for 24, but didn’t want to spend the money for a new program I just wanted to try.
Here’s what I liked about the pre-roll approach, which was sponsored by Cisco (pretty good recall, huh? I guess it works.) It was maybe 10-15 seconds at the most, and it had a countdown to tell how long it would be until the program started. I thought that was really user friendly, and I didn’t mind waiting at all. There also were a few advertising breaks later in the program, again with the countdown.
So I think Lucas has a good point about how video advertising will work online. It can’t just be post-roll, or people will skip the ads like they do with TiVo. If it’s too long in the pre-roll, it will annoy the people advertisers want to reach. But a short pre-roll will accomplish the branding goal, and possibly open the way for a longer message later.