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Social Video vs. Broadcast Media Advertising

Social Video vs. Broadcast Media Advertising
Kent Height

Social media and online video are two of the biggest trends to have emerged in consumer internet in the last decade. Facebook now boasts 1 billion users; a single video of South Korean singer Psy (‘Gangam Style’) now boasts nearly 532 million views, making it the single most watched clip in internet history.

The domination of both social media and online video has been long impending. With increasing engagement on both video and social media platforms, ever-evolving new technologies, and hardware improvements including internet enabled TVs, the social video revolution is finally ready to storm traditional video consumption.

Arguably, watching TV has traditionally been a social activity, whether it is watching a football game with friends or catching a movie in a cinema. Online, however, watching videos is largely a solitary activity. A slew of startups such as AirTime, Spreecast, Rounds, and improvements to existing broadcast channels such as YouTube and Vimeo are changing the way we watch, share and communicate through video.

What is also changing is the way advertisers reach out to their target audience. As an increasingly larger portion of the population shifts from broadcast media to online social video, it will become increasingly difficult for advertisers to create an ad and blast it out to millions of TV viewers. With social video, consumers have much more power over what they watch and when they watch it. Traditional broadcast advertising may have to shape itself around social video, rather than the other way around.

Virality is a key trope here, as the success of a viral phenomenon like Gangam Style would testify. Viral video ads spread automatically, without any effort on the advertisers part. Not only is the ‘air time’ free, but it is also better received since it comes through social (trusted referral channels) rather than broadcast channels. Old Spice lead the way with it’s ground-breaking campaign that saw 1.1 billion shares in the last 12 months alone.

Clearly, the opportunity for ad agencies is not the lower costs associated with social video, (seemingly global brands are happy to continue to allocate significant spend to broadcast advertising) but the sheer effectiveness of video shared through social channels. Social video is set to change the way we consume video content. If they’re to survive, ad agencies must embrace the opportunities offered by the evolving landscape. Integration is more important now than it’s ever been, and the opportunities greater than any other time in the history of marketing.

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