How to Make Pre-Roll Not Suck.

At the Association of National Advertising’s (ANA) annual “Masters of Marketing” conference in October, PepsiCo President of the beverage group, Brad Jakeman, famously declared that pre-roll was among the many things broken with the current advertising model:

“My particular peeve is pre-roll. I hate it,” he added. “What is even worse is that I know the people who are making it know that I’m going to hate it. Why do I know that? Because they tell me how long I am going to have to endure it — 30 seconds, 20 seconds, 15 seconds. You only have to watch this crap for another 10 seconds and then you are going to get to the content that you really wanted to see. That is a model of polluting content that is not sustainable.”

But, in a victory that proves yet again that content is king, AdWeek announced this week that one of the 10 Best Ads of 2015 was… a pre-roll video campaign. Geico’s “Unskippable” campaign set out to develop content that specifically tapped into not only a brand insight, but was customized for the media. The challenge with most pre-roll, as Jakeman rightly pointed out, is that it is “polluting” due to the fact that many advertisers simply take their TV content and drop it into their online video campaigns. Just because its :30 or :15 seconds doesn’t mean its right to reuse the material. Most TV watching is generally a very “lean back” medium, whereas online video is a highly engaged “lean forward” experience. This needs to be considered when developing the content.

Bravo to the Martin Agency and Geico for cracking the code. I think even Brad Jakeman would be applaud you.

To see the campaign, and the rest of the AdWeek “10 Best Ads of 2015: “

About Us: Moco Global is a marketing advisory firm dedicated to helping web companies build their brand and scale in the US and International markets. Founder, Mona Marimow, is an experienced CMO and marketing leader, who has helped build and scale web companies across the globe. Visit us or on Twitter for marketing news, trends and insights on web companies around the world.

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