Video Essentials

Brand Safety Is a Priority for Online Video Advertisers


One of the reasons viewers like online video content is that it can be looser, more unpredictable, and raunchier than broadcast television content. That’s exactly why many advertisers are afraid of it.

Brand safety, the assurance that video content or other elements on the page won’t reflect poorly on the advertised product, is a strong concern for online video advertisers. It’s one of the reasons why online video publishers are having difficulty luring advertisers away from television. Addressing those brand safety concerns was a panel at the recent Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles.

MattTillman“Agencies have the responsibility to find the right audience for their brand, and I think when you go to an ABC or a CBS or even a Hulu on the tier 2 side, you’re limiting your scale, you’re limiting the audience your brand can have access to or that your brand wants access to,” said Matt Tillman, vice president of product for online video advertising platform Set. “As soon as you start going into the tier 3 sources, the ad networks, brand safety becomes much more critical, because now your brand is effectively sponsoring unknown content. With unknown content runs a lot of risk. Some brands are very risk averse and others are less so.”

To reach a large enough audience, brands are forced to go to tier 3 publishers, but they can’t be as certain about the content they’ll find there.

“I think the agencies are being pushed into the mid- and long-tail, the torso, if you will,” Tillman explained. “I think technology providers such as us and others, as well — comScore, as well — are trying to help brands better address that mid- to long-tail inventory. But I think it is from the agencies that we’re seeing the push for mid- and long-tail.”

Online video ad agencies can satisfy brands by automatically analyzing content and categorizing the possibly offensive content in each video. Then, advertisers are free to screen out content — such as violence or explicit language — that would put the brand in a negative light.

To learn more about how agencies are trying to address advertiser concerns, watch the full panel discussion below.





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