Digital Marketing: Programmatic Video

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by: Brad Koyak

Creating Programmatic Video Ad

Connected TV (CTV), the previous post in this series, demonstrated how it allows advertisers to target users across streaming services. In this article In addition to CTV, there are other platforms advertisers use to market using video. In this article, we are going to talk about Programmatic and Native video.

Using Video in Advertising

Using video to sell products is not a new concept. Advertisers have recognized the power of video for nearly 80 years. The first video ad was displayed on a billboard during a baseball game in 1941. The first television commercial was a 10 second ad for Bulova watches, also broadcast in 1941.

Video works great as an advertising medium. The human brain is biologically wired to notice motion and video engages viewers both through site and sound. It allows complex story-telling narratives to get viewers invested in brands in a way that still images are unable to portray. Video is often delivered on a channel that viewers use in their daily lives such as on televisions, smartphones, or computers. When paired with a captive audience, video can be very powerful indeed.

What is Programmatic Video

Programmatic video is video content that is created to be displayed to users based on targeted advertisement algorithms. Using the targeting tactics, we discussed in the first blog, advertisers use our internet search and content history to target specific market audiences. Video can be used as a delivery system in a targeted display campaign. To put it succinctly, video can be delivered as targeted advertising.

How is Programmatic Video Different from Connected TV?

Connected TV ads are essentially the same as traditional television ads. They are designed to be placed inside of content that matches the demographic. The ad matches the content. Programmatic video is content agnostic, meaning that it targets the person watching the content based on collected targeted display metrics. The two are similar in content, but different in audience.

If you use the internet, you have no doubt seen a programmatic video ad. These are the basic videos/commercials placed on the everyday websites you visit. Unlike CTV, programmatic video targets users by showing them video ads across premium publishers like USA Today, Wall Street Journal,, Buzz Feed, Huffington Post, or really any content provider. 

Types of Programmatic Video:

Pre-roll Video Ads: These video ads appear immediately before free video content on publishers like, Forbes, ABC Family,, Local News Sites, YouTube and others.

Mid-roll Video Ads: These ads appear within the content of longer videos, such as complete television episodes.

Post-roll Video Ads: These ads appear at the end of a video. 

Non-skippable Ads: These non-skippable ads are 15 seconds or less, ensuring that prospects complete the video before continuing to their free content.

Skippable Ads: Ads greater than 15 seconds are skippable after the first five seconds.

In-banner Video: These videos are converted to in-banner format and size to run in standard display ad spaces.

What is Native Video?

Native video is content that is uploaded to a social media site. A youtube video, facebook live video, instagram story, and tiktok submission are all types of native video. Like programmatic video, native video is designed to be shown to users based on targeted display metrics. Native videos might be obvious advertisements or they can be narratives designed to push brand values. For example, video of a couple exploring a cave might be a way to advertise camping equipment while feeling more like entertainment.

Ads served through native programmatic blend into a publisher’s content increasing user experience and ad performance by providing users cohesive and seamless browsing and ad experience.

Native ads have seen a major uptake; HIS forecasts that 63% of mobile display ads will be native within the coming year.

Programmatic and Native Video Analytics

Both programmatic and native programmatic video ads provide a deep level of analytics. Unlike regular television commercials, marketers are able to track multiple metrics. For example, they can track the number of clicks, where ads were served, the number of users who watched, completed, muted or unmuted, paused or unpaused, and switched to full screen. As Americans continue to devour content, video as a medium for advertising will continue to grow making this one of the most effective forms of advertising.


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