Google VP says online video is becoming “the beautiful ad game”

CANNES: Henrique de Castro, Google vice president for global media and platforms, says the rise of online video is reaching a “tipping point for digital display”.

De Castro told the audience at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival that online is fast catching up with TV.

He claims that the average European person now watches 26 hours of TV a week, but around 18 hours is spent online as the internet moves more and more out of the home.

“Video online is becoming mainstream. More premium content is becoming available online as content should be distributed where the audience is. Internet connected TV is going to be a reality. It will dramatically change the ad industry forever. Ads will become interactive and delivered to individual TV sets according to the user,” he said.

De Castro added that new apps like Google TV will drive convergence of TV and the internet.

“You could be watching a film and searching for information on the actors in it at the same time in the same screen. So every media will be internet powered and display enabled. The display space will increase from a $20bn (£13.3bn) industry to a $200bn (£133bn) one,” he said.

The Google VP cited the recent Evian babies online video as an example which saw a 30% increase in spontaneous brand awareness.

“The Convergence of video online and TV will be a powerful tool for advertisers and agencies. Instead of product spots simply being blasted out on TV, brands can eliminate the wasted parts of that blast. Creativity and interaction to improve attraction, interaction increases brand recall by 63%,” he says.

He adds: “Every media will be social – can chat and watch TV at same time on same device. Brands should be ready to take advantage of this. This reality will emerge over the next three years.”

Dismissing fears, De Castro says the implications for the brands should not shrink TV ads for online and videos should be the main part of a creative offering.

He adds: “Don’t wait for Nielsen to track and send you the results. Do experimental activity and record the results yourself and adjust your activity accordingly. Don’t be afraid. Even print companies are providers of video – look at fashion magazines or car magazines. Rebalance your media mix because the total world will become digital. Fasten your seatbelts because it’s going to be a fast journey.”

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