Think OOH Blog

What Twitter's 'First View' can Teach us About Video Ads

Posted by Jennifer Seickel on Mar 7, 2016 4:10:07 PM


Knowing Out-of-Home (OOH) can extend the life of an integrated ad campaign, media professionals should keep a close eye on the changing nature of social media to better understand how OOH folds into the larger media mix. 

Twitter's recently-unveiled video ad unit, First View, helps media pros snag the top ad spot on a user's feed when he or she first opens Twitter. 

These types of Promoted Tweets will be rolled out initially in the U.S. with a global roll out planned for the near future. But what can this new ad format teach us about the consumer? Here are three ways Twitter's new ad product can teach us about user behavior when it comes to video and other digital media.


1.The entertainment industry and video ads are a perfect match

As Twitter continues to reveal more details about the First View unit, businesses are wondering: Who will be a typical media buyer? After taking a look at Twitter's early-adopter client partners, it seems the entertainment industry is a primarily target. "Word of mouth is more important than it has ever been in movie marketing." says Marc Weinstock of 20th Century Fox. "And there is no better word of mouth social platform than Twitter. Twitter’s First View is a great opportunity to widely distribute our trailer for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates while generating buzz and social conversation. We are able to hit a broad movie-going audience with great video in a way that not just garners views, but actually creates social momentum."


Beyond Twitter, the entertainment industry has been one of the most aggressive buyers of video and other digital media. eMarketer has suggested that digital ad spend is expected to rise fasted in the US media and entertainment industry, with video and rich media leading the way. Why do these two go hand-in-hand so naturally? According to eMarketer, "This is likely due to entertainment companies’ heavy use of video, social and branded/custom programming approaches, which tend to aim for upper-funnel objectives such as driving awareness of a big video game title prior to its release." 




2. Engaging, high-quality video content is still critical

First View now allows brands to pay to get access to the top of a user's feed, but Twitter seems to still be carefully ensuring these Promoted Tweets are relevant to users. It makes sense: If ads are spammy and irrelevant, users may turn away from Twitter and opt for other social channels that deliver meaningful content. Without that strong user base, Twitter looks less appealing to advertisers.

“The reason we’re doing this is there is just so much happening on Twitter every day, and we know it is sometimes easy for people to miss great content,” Twitter VP Revenue Products Ameet Ranadive told Adweek. “So, to solve this, we’re bringing the tweets from accounts that they follow that people are likely to care about the most, and we’re going to bring that to the top of the timeline.”

In other words, ad products like First View are not an excuse for brands to pull back on engaging their followers with meaningful content. Quality content is still king.

Click here to learn more about trends in video content and how it's being utilized in OOH media campaigns.


3. Users' scrolling behavior plays a role in video ad visibility

For some time, there has been the assumption that users are trained and accustomed to scrolling on apps like Twitter. The thinking is that elements at the top of the screen don't necessarily get noticed since people often scroll right away when they visit a site or app that has a scrolling layoutLukeW Ideation + Design puts it nicely in a post: "If you are assuming people engage above the fold as a lot of design literature will tell you, you’re likely wrong. More engagement happens right at and below the fold than above."

Interestingly enough, the "First View' product seems to suggest that the top of the app is the most coveted real estate. The lesson: Media buyers who are interested in ad products that place content "above the fold" should carefully examine how the platform's users behave before assuming anything.


Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising’s unique ability to engage on-the-go consumers with a wide variety of ad formats makes it a perfect strategic complement to a social media advertising plan. Learn more about OOH and the rise of video media in our full 2016 Media Trends Report:

2016 Ad trends Report

Topics: NEWS

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