Pre-roll ads are an interesting beast. Many people hate them, and we know that their existence on Youtube has greatly increased the installation of ad blockers. A simple web search will bring up things similar to these: Reddit- Do intrusive pre-roll ads make you hate the company? and Pre-roll video ads: is it any wonder that we hate them?
It sure ain’t pretty, but don’t fret- it’s not all bad either. Those specific pages were from a few years ago, when pre-roll ads were new and people hadn’t got used to the idea yet. A web search will reveal some absolute gems on the subject. There is a surprising amount of data floating around considering pre-roll ads are a very new idea in the grand scheme of marketing and advertising. This shows us that people like having the option to “skip” the ad, they don’t hate short ads (as much), they might actually watch the ad if it’s been targeted correctly, and they would rather see a wide variety of ads instead the same ones over and over. The bad news is that very few things on this list are actually in the control of the company and the creatives producing the ad.
These things have been improving naturally over time; we are getting much better at targeting ads, and more groups are creating content and investing in pre-roll advertisement which has been creating more variety in the ads people are coming across.
There is a way to do pre-roll ads right. A positive shift in viewers’ responses occurred when people started creating ads specifically for a pre-roll format. As always, it’s a great idea to engage the viewer. Engage them with a survey or an ad obviously designed for that medium. Something short, clear, fun, and upbeat minimizes the skip-ability. We recently discussed pre-roll ads on our Twitter account and shared some of our favourites. We included some great ones below.