Multiscreen users spend the same amount of time viewing video on TV as they do on digital platforms globally, according to a new report from Millward Brown.

The report, 'AdReaction: Video Creative in a Digital World', examines video use and creative response across screens and the impact for marketers based on responses from more than 13,500 consumers across 42 countries.

In the UK, it found that consumers have yet to reach equity between digital devices (laptop, tablet and smartphone) and their big screen, with TV, including on demand viewing, reaching 62% of total video exposure.

Total video viewing time in the UK among consumers with access to a TV, a smartphone and/or a tablet was 212 minutes a day, compared to a global average of 204 minutes and a European average of 173 minutes. Nigeria was the most video exposed market at 4.5 hours and Hungary, the least video friendly market at just 2.5 hours a day.

Globally, half of this video viewing (102 minutes) is on TV, one-third is now conducted via mobile devices (45 minutes smartphone, 20 minutes tablet), and the remainder (37 minutes) is viewed on laptops or PCs.

In the UK, however, TV remains king with video viewing via smartphone significantly down on the global average at just 15%. The strong performance of on-demand TV viewing also helped the big screen to retain its title. AdReaction Video found that UK consumers watch an average of 64 minutes of on-demand TV a day, the fifth highest figure globally, 28% higher than the global average, but 2% lower than the US.

While the study demonstrates the huge opportunity offered by non-live TV in the UK and other markets, it also provided clear insights into what works for brand messages.

Critically, consumer receptivity to digital video ads is much lower (19% favourability globally and 18% in the UK) than for live TV ads (29% favourability globally and 27% in the UK).

Even for on-demand TV platforms, consumers are more sceptical about advertising than they are on live TV. Just 20% of UK respondents are favourable to ads during on-demand shows, although this is significantly higher than the European average of 14%.

“It is now possible to reach consumers at scale through multiple video channels, but simply applying the same thinking to each will make consumers skip or switch off. Consumers expect content to be bespoke to the context in which they watch it and receptivity to ads that fail to take this into account is extremely low,” said Amanda Phillips, Head of Marketing at Millward Brown UK.

AdReaction Video identified a number of opportunities for marketers to drive video creative effectiveness and success:

People are receptive to targeting, but don’t want to be stalked.

The report found that consumers are most receptive to video ads targeted based on their interests (41% globally and 38% in the UK) or preferred brands (40% globally and 40% in the UK) and least receptive to ads based on their web browsing history (25% globally and 21% in the UK). Sensitive application of targeting is likely to work best.

Context matters.

With negativity toward video ads on smartphones at 49% globally and 51% in the UK, advertisers need to earn the right for attention. 29% of consumers globally (28% in the UK) said they were less likely to skip and pay more attention to online video ads that offer rewards. They were most receptive to skippable and click-to-play ad formats that provide control over what they see.

Content is still king

The findings indicate the need to consider digital early in the creative process, with an eye toward optimisation across screens. And while skippable formats are a creative challenge, they are worth the focus; aim for early impact.


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