The pre-roll no-brainer

Permit a short rant, please. This is one of those “revelations” that leaves you wondering what century we’re in. According to Curt Hecht, chief digital officer at GM Planworks, Starcom MediaVest Group’s dedicated media unit for General Motors (yes, THAT General Motors), the 30-second pre-roll spot may not be around long.

(Pause for effect) What a bulletin!

As reported in today’s Online Media Daily, Hecht says that consumer acceptance of pre-roll ads is “completely undetermined.” (Cough, hack, spit)

Forcing Internet users to watch a repurposed 30-second TV ad before a one-minute clip doesn’t make much sense, he said…

While the guaranteed impressions delivered by pre-roll ads appeal to marketers, they won’t amount to much if they end up alienating viewers. “If it’s not driving engagement, then the value proposition on pre-roll will be challenged,” said Hecht.

…Hecht said online video might borrow a page from PBS, where programs are preceded by brief sponsorship acknowledgements. “I really think that as a core model, having a lighter introduction and then something more substantial at the end makes more sense,” he said.

“The value proposition on pre-roll will be challenged.” Who knew?

When I read this, I immediately looked for the date of the article, because I assumed it was written two years ago. Where do they get these guys? I mean, this fellow is a HUGE player in the advertising world, and he’s just now coming to the conclusion that 30 second ads in front of clips are a turn-off? Do these people actually view what they sell? Apparently not.

In 2004, Microsoft did research that showed 7–12 seconds was optimal as a pre-roll. Have all these Madison Avenue types been living under a friggin’ rock?

This supports the old adage that nothing is real unless it’s real to you.

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