Facebook “Mid-Roll” and the Continued Digital Spiral Toward TV Commercials
When Facebook rolled out “mid-roll” ads last month, you didn’t have to browse very far to find the dismay of one of your friends. Today I saw a post from my friend’s cousin who lives in rural New Hampshire:
Cousin Johnny may not have been pleased with the ad he was served, but he should get used to it, because this format has the potential to be highly lucrative and engaging, and has been around for nearly half a century.
Mid-roll video is little more than the digital infancy of an ad technique that has been around since the dawn of television – serving advertiser creative in between content, in order to capture and captivate consumers when they’re at their most engaged with content. Mid-roll may seem more raw, however, because video spots are served at distinct mid-points in video content that has not been procured to allow for these ad breaks, in contrast with television where programming is now tailored to the inevitable “commercial break.”
However, once consumers become accustomed to this format, and are not surprised when commercials cut off the video of their niece’s graduation as Cousin Johnny’s was, advertisers will have realized a format that guarantees a captive user who will view the creative to completion, if they wish to finish the “post” content.
This is similar to the TV commercial diet that the majority of the population has been fed their entire life, and has come to expect. These expected (and largely enjoyed) ads will become more feasible to run digitally as bandwidth capabilities expand, and longer form video becomes the norm on digital.
Expect to see these ads, and more ads reflecting traditionally television, to continue to hit the digital marketplace.