New research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) finds that brands have huge opportunities to leverage original digital video (ODV) as an advertising and engagement platform.

The results of the org’s new study, Digital Video Viewers and Brand Connection, show that the ODV audience—which consists of a younger, more ethnically and racially diverse, and tech-savvy demographic—is especially receptive to learning about brands they don’t know, and directly communicating with them.

ODV viewers also reported a higher level of brand engagement, ranging from paying a greater number of visits to a brand’s site or brick-and-mortar store to participating in more social media and word-of-mouth buzz.

In 2018, original digital video is estimated to reach 86 million Americans, 13 years and older, of which 72 million are adults (18+). ODV viewership among American adults has been on a steady rise from 45 million in 2013 to 72 million in 2018, a 60 percent increase.

Original digital video connects brands with young, diverse, techie consumers

There is a strong affinity between ODV viewers and newer direct-to-consumer “Direct Brands,” such as Away, Birchbox, and Bonobos, with the ODV audience having a higher awareness of this type of brand than the general digital video audience. They also express more familiarity with Direct Brands, and are more likely to purchase from Direct Brands than the average digital video viewer.

However, established “Incumbent Brands,” like Brooks Brothers, Maybelline, and Samsonite, garner a higher level of awareness, familiarity, engagement, and purchase intent when looking across the entire digital video viewer landscape.

Original digital video connects brands with young, diverse, techie consumers

The top five sources of awareness of ODV content are:

  • Word-of-mouth
  • Browsing websites/apps
  • Social media posts or comments
  • Search
  • Television ads

Still, show reviews, print, radio, and billboard ads are also highly influential on content choice among viewers who rely on these mediums for ODV content awareness, even though they do not have the same level of reach as the top sources.

Original digital video connects brands with young, diverse, techie consumers

According to the study, nearly half of ODV viewers are “Brand Seekers”—a category of consumers who are likely to seek out and be open to new brands they don’t know, and be receptive to direct communications with them. They are also more optimistic about advertisements, believing they can be beneficial and fun.

“This study makes it crystal clear that investment in original digital video is a must for today’s brands,” said Anna Bager, EVP of Industry Initiatives at IAB, in a news release. “The research demonstrates that original digital video delivers a hard-to-reach audience who are more engaged with brands than other digital video viewer groups. All in all, the findings are sure to further inspire marketers to line up next week for NewFronts presentations, so they can benefit from the power of ODV.”

Read the complete study here.

Original digital video connects brands with young, diverse, techie consumers

A total of 2,022 interviews were completed online in the U.S. during March, 2018. A representative sample was captured across key demographics (age, gender, ethnicity, and region) of respondents ages 13+ and were weighted back to align with the most recent census data and to provide insight into natural sizing of U.S. digital video viewers. The median time taken to complete the survey was 12 minutes. Samples were sourced from YouGov and YouGov partner panels. 24 brands were utilized in the research as proxies for the brand category analysis, including 12 Incumbent Brands and 12 Direct Brands.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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