Shorter Pre-Roll Plus Lower 1/3 Tops Among Best Ad Units for Short-Form Online Video, According to New MTV Networks Study

Ad Operations OnlineProject Inform’ Identifies Most Effective, Audience-Friendly Ad Products for Short-Form Online Video

NEW YORK – A five-second pre-roll combined with a ten-second lower 1/3 ad unit takes top prize as both the most effective and the most audience-friendly ad product for short-form online video, according to “Project Inform,” a new study unveiled by MTV Networks. The first large-scale study to survey real consumers through millions of short-form online video streams, “Project Inform” uniquely measured both the effectiveness and likeability of various ad formats across a range of audience, content and advertiser categories.

“Short-form online video consumption is exploding, but there’s still a lot of confusion among marketers over which ad formats deliver for brands without compromising the user experience,” said Nada Stirratt, Executive Vice President of Digital Advertising, MTV Networks. “By exploring the viability of new ad products around short-form online video, Project Inform provides the type of insights crucial to creating the innovative, custom solutions that this marketplace needs.”

In 2008, MTV Networks began gathering insights on various existing and new video ad formats. Two ad product packages rose to the top and these , in addition to a 30-second pre-roll, were the subject of the Project Inform study launched in January 2009 . The packages tested included:

* The Lower 1/3 Product Suite: A 5-second pre-roll video coupled with an animated 10-second lower 1/3 ad overlay. The lower 1/3 is a semi-transparent flash unit that launches from the bottom third of the video screen approximately 10 seconds after video content begins.
* The Sideloader Product Suite: A 5-second pre-roll coupled with a 10-second animated side-loader. The side-loader is a custom unit that slides out of the right-hand side of the video screen approximately 10 seconds after playback video content begins
* 30-Second Pre-Roll: A 30-second traditional video ad unit.

Partnering with three blue-chip advertisers in key categories, MTV Networks ran in-depth tests in more than 50 million short-form video streams across,,, and Specifically, Project Inform sought to understand the relative effectiveness of these ad products in brand lift, as measured by industry standard metrics like unaided awareness, aided awareness and purchase intent. Additionally, the project sought to identify the consumer likeability of each ad product.

While each product showed promise in certain areas, several clear findings emerged:

* The Lower 1/3 Product Suite was the most effective ad product across all advertiser categories. Remarkably, consumers also ranked the Lower 1/3 experience to be the most likeable of the ad experiences.
* The 30-second pre-roll finished second, performing well in overall effectiveness and likeability and demonstrating ongoing consumer acceptance of pre-rolls even for short-form content.
* While the Sideloader Product Suite ranked third for the test in many metrics, it showed promise in certain areas, such as online ad awareness. Consumers specifically liked some the interactivity and movement of the unit.

Project Inform was conducted in partnership with InsightExpress. The ads were developed and deployed using the Panache video ad platform, upon which MTVN has built a wide range of interactive video advertising units deployed across its online portfolio.

About MTV Networks

MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, The N, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers and Xfire.

About InsightExpress

InsightExpress is a leading provider of high-quality, digital marketing research and plays a preeminent role in the measurement of advertising effectiveness across online, mobile and other media. Through its patented technologies, proprietary solutions, world-class expertise and time-tested research principles, InsightExpress transforms the way advertisers, agencies, publishers and researchers optimize their marketing activities. InsightExpress is headquartered in Stamford, CT, with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit or call 203-406-3233.

About Panache

Panache helps major media and entertainment companies increase revenues as they expand their video business to the Internet. Panache’s ad-insertion platform, products and professional services support all areas of a video publisher’s inside ad sales: unique as well as standard ad formats and direct sales tools; workflow facilitation and ad fulfillment; and precise, visually based real-time ad efficacy reporting for publishers, their agencies and advertisers.

Founded in 2006, Panache is a privately held company headquartered in Los Angeles.