The Future of Shoppable Video Ads is Here: Embracing Active Attention
In the ever-evolving business of marketing, one thing has become clear: the era of passive metrics is over.
As advertisers navigate this dynamic new world, the deprecation of cookies — a change that holds seismic implications — is at the forefront of the transformation. The looming loss of cookies has, without question, paved the way for marketers to shift their approach in strategy in a compelling new way, taking us toward a new era of video ads defined by active engagement.
Let’s face it: For decades, the buying and selling of video ads has been dominated by calculations based on a combination of conjecture and estimation, as advertisers have leaned on longtime metrics like GRPs (gross rating points) and media mix modeling to gauge the impact of their commercials. While these metrics offered a rough sense of direction for marketers, in truth, they barely scratched the surface of understanding actual consumer behavior.
The arrival of the digital age has not only transformed consumers’ relationship with technology, but it's also poised to reshape advertising as we know it. Tech advancements enabled us to achieve never-before-seen levels of interconnectivity and accessibility, while the proliferation of digital devices has granted advertisers unprecedented tools to track user interactions and behaviors. And now, as we stand on the edge of a cookie-less era, a critical reevaluation of our adherence to old-line marketing approaches has become more than urgent.
Enter "Active Attention," a phrase that transcends the confines of cookie-dependent marketing. Active attention is about user interaction within video programming itself, putting an emphasis on engagement that defies the limitations of cookies and underscores the inadequacy of long-held, passive metrics in capturing the true essence of consumer engagement.
Therefore, advertising once relegated to the sidelines of passive consumption is poised to see a profound transformation. The notion that mere exposure to an ad translates into action is finally giving way to a quest for tangible, data-driven insights, as brands understand that genuine engagement exceeds the confines of mere views or completion rates.
Transitioning from passive to active engagement entails nothing short of a comprehensive reimagining of video advertising's potential. The goal is to create content that's not just consumable but measurable, interactive, and uniquely tailored to individual preferences while capturing a more accurate snapshot of consumer behavior.
The world of video advertising is ripe for actionable potential. Innovations like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are breaking down traditional barriers, enabling interactive elements to be embedded in video programming. This immersion crafts a personalized experience for consumers, fostering a deeper connection between brands and their audiences.
However, this metamorphosis isn't restricted to the digital domain alone — the concept of "frictionless commerce" is permeating multiple distribution channels.
Consider the scenario of watching your favorite cable or broadcast network show and pausing to admire a character's shoes. Now imagine being able to buy those shoes seamlessly through your television. This isn’t a glimpse into the future; it’s something that’s happening right now, having already been embraced by media giants like Disney and NBCU and visionary brands like Audi and Sephora.
Innovation has reached a zenith where technology can identify products within scenes of shows, paving the way for unobtrusive commerce integration. QR codes have been transformed from cryptic patterns to ubiquitous tools for consumer interaction, creating a seamless link between viewer and brand. Since the pandemic, when QR codes became ubiquitous, consumers have become increasingly open to them, as well as the concept of scanning and shopping through their TVs. This union of technology and user behavior creates the optimal environment for frictionless commerce.
With this evolution, consumers and advertisers alike are poised to reap the rewards. Consumers relish the ease of seamless shopping, while marketers are afforded the opportunity to gain insights into consumer preferences and behaviors that were once elusive.
The narrative of video advertising has morphed from one of a linear path into a truly interactive journey, where engagement, interaction and action are joined. The demise of cookies — which has caused so much handwringing among advertisers — has in reality catalyzed a real revolution in video advertising, while the shift from passive metrics to active engagement is reshaping the foundation of marketing.
The integration of AR, VR and AI heralds the next phase of transformation for immersive video advertising, one that transcends conventional boundaries. As frictionless commerce promises to forever change consumers’ relationships with screens of all types, advertisers welcome a whole new reality of engagement and conversion opportunity.
The journey from passive to active engagement paves the way for a world where every interaction matters, every engagement holds significance, and every video is a gateway to action. Welcome to the future.
Jay Wolff is chief revenue officer of KERV Interactive, an AI-powered video creative technology platform that creates shoppable and immersive experiences within any video content.
Jay Wolff serves as chief revenue officer at KERV Interactive, leading global revenue and partnerships, in addition to being the executive vice president of 212 NYC, New York’s leading organization for the digital advertising industry.
Jay’s expertise in revenue and partner growth in the advertising industry spans 19 years. Most recently, Jay served as CRO of Varick Media, and Chief Growth Officer at Boostr, the first end-to-end SaaS revenue management system for media companies. Previously, as Regional Vice President of SambaTV, Wolff built the revenue organization and East Coast market from the ground up.