By Daniel Hunter

Interactive ads served before video content (pre-rolls) are twice as popular in the UK as they are globally, according to new data from AdoTube, the in-stream video advertising specialist owned by Exponential Interactive.

Interactive pre-rolls accounted for twice the share of in-stream video ads in the UK (72%) in 2012 than they did 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.

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.

“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," Niki Stoker, Exponential UK managing director, said.

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.

"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," Stoker added.

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.

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%).

“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," Stoker said.

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