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Advertising Week: The rising influence of online video

No one disputes the importance of online video; its ubiquity is a now a standard feature of advertising today. In the Sun's session on the rising influence of online video and its creators, the panel delved a little deeper into how brands can stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Some stark statistics were used to put things into context. Some of the most watched TV clips of all time include Princess Diana’s funeral which 32.1M people watched, and Eastenders’ 1986 Christmad Day special which was enjoyed by 30M fans. These colossal audiences are dwarfed however by modern day viral videos; indeed, Justin Bieber's 'Love Yourself' music video has been watched online 545.3M times. So, naturally, the question was asked; with 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, how can we as advertisers cut through and resonate with people?

The panel pointed out that online video is a level playing field: you could be Bieber with adoring fans all over the world poised and ready to tune in to whatever you post, or you could be a budding vlogger recording yourself in your bedroom talking about pretty much anything and strike viral gold.

Online video partner Unruly highlighted the importance of emotional resonance in creating stellar video content. Their social shareability tool relies on two crucial metrics to draw conclusions about which videos will perform well online: emotional intensity and social motivation. This is interesting for brands, creative agencies and media planners/buyers alike, in that it corroborates the theory-of-the-week that, for brands to succeed, they need to produce ads that make people really feel something, that strike a chord with real humans.

Online video and programmatic bidding are not only burgeoning but flourishing avenues for digital advertisers, but we need to be mindful of the content we are putting out there to avoid being ignored by our consumers.

The key takeout of the session was both a challenge and an inspiration to advertisers: don't just reach people, move them.

By Danielle Northcott, Mindshare UK, reporting live from Advertising Week