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How Video Advertising Could Erode Brand Safety?

Marketers are required to take proactive Brand Safety measures ensuring their ads are placed on relevant channels; brand is able to connect with.

Video is the future of content. Brands are globally spending anywhere in the range of 8-15% of their total advertising spend on video advertising, depending on the geo-market we are talking about. Irrespective of how much is being spent, there are no two opinions about video being the fastest growing medium of advertising. Majority of these videos, including ads are being consumed over YouTube – the default internet video place. It has over 1.8 billion active monthly subscribers, which continues to grow.

While in Performance Marketing, most of the focus of advertisers in Ad-Fraud is around BOT and other fake traffic and behaviour, there is also a need to introspect how it is tarnishing the reputation of a brand. mFilterIt has been advocating for some time about the interlinkages of Ad-Fraud and Brand Safety. Today, lets exhibit an insight that helps to understand how grave the issue is.

A Brand Safety audit was carried out for a leading platform in the entertainment domain. The top 500 YouTube channels were analysed where the ads regarding the entertainment app were served. The results were astonishing keeping in mind that the advertiser is among few leading players in the industry using all cutting-edge technology to stay ahead of the curve.

Almost 1 out of 3 ads (30%) were consumed over YouTube channels which were ‘unsafe’ for the brand. There were also some invalid channels (2%), which would only result in wasting of marketing spend. The most damaging part was of ads being served over ‘unsafe’ channels; channels which did not identify with the philosophy, reputation and beliefs of the brand.

mFilterIt categorises ‘unsafe’ channels into ProhibitedSensitiveConflicting and Contentious categories based on the type of content the channel carries. For instance, in this specific case, the ads were served on a channel which was promoting superstition along with other unscientific beliefs, which was directly conflicting with the positioning of the marketing brand. Similarly, the brand wanted to ensure that it stays apolitical. However, its ads were served on some channels which were either belonging to a particular political party or were promoting a certain definite political ideology. This would fall under the contentious category of unsafe video ads.

Similarly, several marketers face this enormously increasing challenge which comes in their way of effectively using video platforms like YouTube an advertising platform adhering to the brand policies defining the image and reputation of the brand.

Under the performance pressures, affiliates push ads to high traffic channels, which not only results in unproductive burning of marketing spend, but also creates a situation where brands could eventually require to implement crisis management measures. Even if these are highly sophisticated, they won’t result in complete 100% recovery of the image / reputation.

For an effective and adhering video advertising, brands need to have a holistic Brand Safety policy which can be enforced by a solution/tool giving more control over the way brand is represented over any form including videos.

Examples of unsafe channels

Conflicting: http://youtube.com/channel/UCB6Kcs76B4Jaiih-NRVntHA

Contentious: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6ZEaf32feEZYK7jwLyNU0Q

Prohibited: http://youtube.com/channel/UCuQoHgzcFLwPib9NU4quPIw

Sensitive: http://youtube.com/channel/UCo1FB2i8t5qIX6bgM6A2dbQ