January 2, 2013
From engineers in Singapore to sales directors in London to numerous department heads and executive team members in the U.S., we combed far and wide to arrive at video predictions for 2013. What started as a baker’s dozen has been boiled down to three major trends wrapped around the concepts of touch, transmedia and truth.
1. 2013: A touchy subject.
Advertisers will add a fourth dimension—touch—to sight, sound and motion on a major scale. We base this prediction on the growing demand among our own clients for interactive video advertising.
Given this upward trend, we believe marketers across the board will finally realize that they are missing a big opportunity when they repurpose a TV spot for the web and call it a day. As such, marketers and their agencies will conceptualize and create complementary interactive video content when brainstorming their brand’s big (TV) idea. They will start to shoot extras, outtakes, content for the “making of” video and other editorial content that will serve as interactive invitations to engage with the brand on all screens.
Think interviews with the actors in the commercial, or the director; plus games, coupons, look books. At the same time, online video will become more custom. Precise targeting will mean different video footage for each audience, including unique takes on messaging, editing, and product demos. To get there, marketers will borrow from print budgets, not TV. Marketers and consumers will continue to love the biggest screen in the house, and TV and digital video will live happily—and effectively—ever after.
Speaking of having a blast with content creation, we believe at least one major brand will take this idea even further for the Super Bowl. This brand at the end of 2013 will digitally test creative ahead of the 2014 game, effectively using online video as the world’s largest and almost instantaneous focus group. This brand will run various interactive video ad units to see which garner the most engagement and buzz in the weeks leading up to the game. Based on metrics, the brand will run with the clear winner at half-time, thereby removing some of the “high” from the high-stakes bet.
2. The Golden Age of Video: Transmedia Rises as Goddess.
From Walking Dead e-cards—which are either frightening or oddly funny depending on your perspective—to a Spartacus game where the show’s fans fight for the favor of Rome, transmedia is helping TV shows gain and attract new audiences through cross-platform and participatory storytelling. What’s more, the 2013 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival will accept transmedia entries for the first time while Disney’s 2012-2013 Living Worlds program has been pushing the limits of immersive storytelling.
In 2013, we believe advertisers outside the entertainment category will jump on the transmedia bandwagon in a big way by borrowing from studio playbooks. Media planners as a result will embrace agnostic planning across all the screens available to them. TV and video will rule branding to the detriment of print, outdoor, radio and online display advertising.
We dare marketers to go big with original web content plus games, Facebook and Twitter feeds for characters, chances for fans to create the back story or suggest future story lines. Digital video will be at the center, delighting viewers who increasingly think, “Isn’t all content digital now anyway?” And marketers will be delighted with measurable ROI.
3. Truth in Advertising with Effective Rating Points.
For 60 years, the GRP has been the holy grail. But in 2013, marketers will feel extra lucky, as more light bulbs go off about ERPs: effective rating points. Okay, we get it, there is more work to be done as an industry to arrive at a common measurement standard but effectiveness will be at the core and should be.
Such standards will break the myth that audience-targeting is the alpha and the omega. It doesn’t always work—factors such as publisher, type of editorial content and day-part can have a much bigger impact on engagement than being a woman 18-34. We all know that men watch ads for laundry detergent sometimes, and buy it, and women definitely watch ads for men’s deodorant, and buy it. (We’ve seen the quant and heard the qual.)
And don’t take this the wrong way but sometimes your creative just isn’t right for your target audience, or maybe your target audience isn’t who you think it is. As such, gender-stereotyping will become 2013’s big no-no if you’re after a competitive advantage.
Continuing the Conversation
Time will tell if we are right or wrong. We plan to track progress on these and related issues throughout the year via blog posts and other updates. So check back with us—let’s continue the conversation about the rapidly evolving world of digital video.
 Our revenue from interactive formats nearly doubled from Q1 to Q4.
 This prediction is grounded in an upward 2012 trend here at Tremor Video: In Q4, 55% of our mobile revenue came from interactive ad units, up from 12% in Q1. More than 1.21 billion smartphones will be bought worldwide next year (Gartner), further driving brands’ desire to engage these tech-savvy consumers with engaging video.
 Using VideoHub, Tremor Video’s operations and analytics platform, we have uncovered instances where ad campaigns targeted at one gender have actually resonated better with the other. During our Video Lives ethnographic study, we interviewed 35 families around the world and in each case fathers said they bought household goods for the family unit—an indication that targeting only women for such products is an antiquated idea.