Online video ad trends: interactive pre-rolls ‘twice as popular in UK’


UK web users are twice as likely to respond to in-stream video ads than the global average, according to new research looking into online video ad trends.

The study, from AdoTube, an in-stream video advertising specialist owned by Exponential Interactive, found that UK web users account for twice the share of in-stream video ads in the UK (72%) than globally (36%).

In contrast, standard pre-rolls accounted for 25% in the UK – almost half the global share (46%).

Ads that run on top of the main video (overlays) are far less popular in the UK – accounting for less than 2.5% of ads served compared to 18% globally.

Britons 60% more likely to interact with video ads

In the UK, 4.8% of video ads with interactive capabilities – such as playing a game, finding a shop or entering data – are interacted with compared to 3.0% globally. Click-through rates to the advertiser’s website are also much higher in the UK (3.7%) than globally (2.6%).

Also, only 8% of video ads served by AdoTube in the UK with a “dismiss option” were actually dismissed compared with 11% globally.

Niki Stoker, Exponential UK managing director, said: “It’s tricky to say if Britons are simply more inclined to engage with ads or whether UK brands are delivering more relevant and engaging creative. Whatever the case, the figures are extremely encouraging for the UK, particularly compared to the global picture."

In the UK, 60% of in-stream video ads are watched in full while 15-second video ads have an 18% higher completion rate than 30-second spots.

Stoker says: "It’s vital that marketers have a clear picture about their goals. For example, if it’s video completion they should opt for 15-second spots instead of 30 as their completion rate is higher. However, if it’s looking to drive traffic or engagement, the 30-second spot is more effective.”

How UK and global video advertisers differ

Quick service restaurant brands – such as KFC, Pizza Express and Dominos – ran the most online video campaigns in the UK in 2012, accounting for 15%, followed by finance/insurance and retailers (both 13%).

Following the top three were mobile, FMCG and alcohol advertisers (all accounting for 10%).

These six sectors accounted for seven in every ten UK video campaigns (see online video ad trends chart below).


E.g. Quick service restaurants accounted for 15% of UK online video ad campaigns in 2012 served by AdoTube

The UK industry is far more dominated by quick service restaurants and financial brands (28% total) than globally (11% total). Also, mobile brands accounted for twice the share in the UK than globally (5%).

In contrast, FMCG, auto and entertainment brands have a much smaller footprint in the UK than globally. FMCG advertisers, the most active globally, accounted for twice the share of video campaigns (19% global vs. 10% in UK), followed by automotive (14% vs. 8%) and entertainment (12% vs. 5%).

Stoker said: “It’s clear that the food service and finance brands in the UK have embraced AdoTube’s innovative video advertising capabilities. It will be interesting to see if FMCG, car and entertainment brands follow suit and embrace it here to the degree they have globally.”


The data comes from an analysis of more than 9,500 campaigns run through AdoTube and nearly 13.5 billion impressions during 2012.

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