Incentivized Viewership

I wrestle with whether or not I like the notion of  Incentivized Viewership.  It’s coming up a lot lately around the office as we’re starting to see more and more vendors offering us solutions to have viewers watch or interact with our clients ads because they are being compensated to do so.

I decided to write this post to get my thoughts out in the open and hopefully have a dialogue with all of you who can help create a better informed POV.

My general thought is that incentivized viewership is negative for the ecosystem because the quality of the view is diluted because the person did not decide on their own to watch or interact with the ad unit.  The person is only watching the ad unit because they earn a Facebook credit, a game credit, or some other form of compensation.  Here are a few posts about Facebook and some partners incentivizing video watching to earn Facebook credits.

Does anyone have any research that uses a control and variable group to measure conversion and/or brand metrics around people who are incentivized to view?  I’d love to see it.

Do you believe that incentivized viewership is good for the ecosystem?

  • http://geisen.tumblr.com/ Tim Geisenheimer

    In a way, people were originally incentivized to watch ads: they couldn’t get to the content they actually wanted to see without waiting until the ads were finished. It’s only been since the advent of the DVR, the rise of digital streaming and the end of appointment viewing that people can (mostly) choose to watch what they want, when they want without (much) interruptive marketing getting in the way.

    • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

      But what about the explicit action of telling a user they will receive X credits or dollars if they watch an ad. Is this the audience the marketer wants?

      • http://geisen.tumblr.com/ Tim Geisenheimer

        Well it depends on the context. Outside of fringe examples (Hulu’s ad selector), people aren’t currently opting in to watch pre-roll ads across the vast majority of content sites. I suppose if you’re incentivizing views of a brand’s Youtube content without stating this upfront, that’s a major no-no.

        I think the Facebook context that you mention above is different because in this case it’s people playing a social game that relies on credits. In a way incentivization is contextually relevant here because the entire focus on these types of games is obtaining additional resources to build out your farm or whatever. I think people are so accustomed to acquiring credits through various means in these games that having them watch pre-roll for free credits actually could be additive rather than dilutive to the brand. After all, the brand is helping to bankroll their farm for free, right?

        As long as incentivization is placed within the right context, I’m not sure I have a problem with it.

        • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

          I’m coming at it from a marketers viewpoint.

          If I as a marketer have my videos being watches by people who are incentivized to do so, are they just as qualified as an audience who voluntarily watches them? It of course all depends on audience, but I have to think that there are people who don’t pay attention to the ad when incentivized and just want the credits, so to speak.

          Love this Convo btw.

          • http://geisen.tumblr.com/ Tim Geisenheimer

            If you buy into the argument that people have been essentially incentivized to watch ads in exchange for content since the beginning of advertising it’s not that big of a deal. I certainly see your point that incentivization is substantively different than the interruptive model (there’s an actual exchange taking place), but I wonder if it’s that much worse.

            As long as you caveat it in the reporting and get your marketing partner’s buy-in upfront to test this sort of thing, I guess my point is that eyeballs are eyeballs assuming the audience is a fit. Obviously I’m as curious as you are to see if there have been any effectiveness studies done.

  • Irving Fain

    I agree with Tim here. With the rise of on-demand content people have become accustomed to getting the content they want immediately and without interruption. The reality is that advertising has always acted in one way or another as an intermediary between us and the content / goal that we have. When you’re reading a magazine you have to flip through ads in order to reach the article you want – same with a newspaper and we all remember how TV used to work! As passive as those interactions may be, the ad still sits between us and our goal (reading, watching, etc). Even amidst a shift to a much more digital-based advertising ecosystem, people see pre-roll and banner ads in return for getting content for free.

    While this is clearly a much more explicit transaction and exchange of value, the fundamentals remain the same. In the same way content strategy has been forced to adapt to a new world, advertising must do the same.

    • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

      I’m not arguing if advertising should be around content, but rather around this example from above:

      Here’s an example: Incentivized Ad Network A comes to you and offers 6,000 views of a video thru incentivized watching. Are these just as valuable to you as 6,000 non-incentivized?

      • Irving Fain

        You have to look beyond the initial impression / view to see what purchase intent or action that ad drove. Just because someone was initially incentivized to watch an ad doesn’t mean that it won’t ultimately encourage them to make a purchase or take action. Likewise, just because someone clicks on an ad to watch it by their own volition doesn’t mean they’re necessarily more likely to make a purchase decision. Are they interested in the brand as evidenced by their click, yes – but it’s the job of the advertisement to hook them further.

  • http://www.marketing.fm EricFriedman

    All advertising is incentivized X. Whether viewership or trial or purchase or demo etc…

    I think its important to put this newly named form in the right category. It has a new name so it can be scrutinized but its basically the same old thing.

    • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

      Here’s an example: Incentivized Ad Network A comes to you and offers 6,000 views of a video thru incentivized watching. Are these just as valuable to you as 6,000 non-incentivized?

      • http://www.marketing.fm EricFriedman

        They are inherently less valuable.

        • http://mediaeater.com mediaeater

          totally agree.

          • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

            Exactly what I was trying to get at.

  • http://geisen.tumblr.com Tim Geisenheimer

    In a way, people were originally incentivized to watch ads: they couldn't get to the content they actually wanted to see without waiting until the ads were finished. It's only been since the advent of the DVR, the rise of digital streaming and the end of appointment viewing that people can (mostly) choose to watch what they want, when they want without (much) interruptive marketing getting in the way.

  • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

    But what about the explicit action of telling a user they will receive X credits or dollars if they watch an ad. Is this the audience the marketer wants?

  • http://geisen.tumblr.com Tim Geisenheimer

    Well it depends on the context. Outside of fringe examples (Hulu's ad selector), people aren't currently opting in to watch pre-roll ads across the vast majority of content sites. I suppose if you're incentivizing views of a brand's Youtube content without stating this upfront, that's a major no-no.

    I think the Facebook context that you mention above is different because in this case it's people playing a social game that relies on credits. In a way incentivization is contextually relevant here because the entire focus on these types of games is obtaining additional resources to build out your farm or whatever. I think people are so accustomed to acquiring credits through various means in these games that having them watch pre-roll for free credits actually could be additive rather than dilutive to the brand. After all, the brand is helping to bankroll their farm for free, right?

    As long as incentivization is placed within the right context, I'm not sure I have a problem with it.

  • http://twitter.com/ifain Irving Fain

    I agree with Tim here. With the rise of on-demand content people have become accustomed to getting the content they want immediately and without interruption. The reality is that advertising has always acted in one way or another as an intermediary between us and the content / goal that we have. When you're reading a magazine you have to flip through ads in order to reach the article you want – same with a newspaper and we all remember how TV used to work! As passive as those interactions may be, the ad still sits between us and our goal (reading, watching, etc). Even amidst a shift to a much more digital-based advertising ecosystem, people see pre-roll and banner ads in return for getting content for free.

    While this is clearly a much more explicit transaction and exchange of value, the fundamentals remain the same. In the same way content strategy has been forced to adapt to a new world, advertising must do the same.

  • http://www.marketing.fm EricFriedman

    All advertising is incentivized X. Whether viewership or trial or purchase or demo etc…

    I think its important to put this newly named form in the right category. It has a new name so it can be scrutinized but its basically the same old thing.

  • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

    I'm coming at it from a marketers viewpoint.

    If I as a marketer have my videos being watches by people who are incentivized to do so, are they just as qualified as an audience who voluntarily watches them? It of course all depends on audience, but I have to think that there are people who don't pay attention to the ad when incentivized and just want the credits, so to speak.

    Love this Convo btw.

  • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

    Here's an example: Incentivized Ad Network A comes to you and offers 6,000 views of a video thru incentivized watching. Are these just as valuable to you as 6,000 non-incentivized?

  • http://geisen.tumblr.com Tim Geisenheimer

    If you buy into the argument that people have been essentially incentivized to watch ads in exchange for content since the beginning of advertising it's not that big of a deal. I certainly see your point that incentivization is substantively different than the interruptive model (there's an actual exchange taking place), but I wonder if it's that much worse.

    As long as you caveat it in the reporting and get your marketing partner's buy-in upfront to test this sort of thing, I guess my point is that eyeballs are eyeballs assuming the audience is a fit. Obviously I'm as curious as you are to see if there have been any effectiveness studies done.

  • http://www.marketing.fm EricFriedman

    They are inherently less valuable.

  • http://mediaeater.com mediaeater

    totally agree.

  • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

    Exactly what I was trying to get at.

  • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

    I'm not arguing if advertising should be around content, but rather around this example from above:

    Here's an example: Incentivized Ad Network A comes to you and offers 6,000 views of a video thru incentivized watching. Are these just as valuable to you as 6,000 non-incentivized?

  • http://twitter.com/ifain Irving Fain

    You have to look beyond the initial impression / view to see what purchase intent or action that ad drove. Just because someone was initially incentivized to watch an ad doesn't mean that it won't ultimately encourage them to make a purchase or take action. Likewise, just because someone clicks on an ad to watch it by their own volition doesn't mean they're necessarily more likely to make a purchase decision. Are they interested in the brand as evidenced by their click, yes – but it's the job of the advertisement to hook them further.

  • http://www.jonsteinberg.com jonsteinberg

    Once Youtube cracked down on auto-play counting towards views, the people who were selling autoplay needed a way to continue to deliver “millions” of views at rock-bottom prices. Of course delivering millions of REAL engaged views at pennies is impossible for all but the most compelling video.

    Enter the “incented” views. You can’t even imagine where some of this stuff runs and the setting it runs in. Check out the Virgin Mobile ad I screen grabbed:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-premium-social-advertising-2011-3

    Incented views optimizes for people who register for accounts that allow them to claim various kinds of virtual currencies. It’s the Florida real estate seminar where they offer you a free toaster for attending – you get people interested in toasters, not real estate ;-)

    As you rightly conclude, the dilution is just too much. There’s literally no interest on the part of the viewer. It’s the opposite end of the spectrum from a click by an interested viewer who knows what they are clicking on.

    • http://knowabout.it/ falicon

      It’s the Florida real estate seminar where they offer you a free toaster for attending – you get people interested in toasters, not real estate ;-)”

      Point. Set. Match…can’t be said better than that.

  • http://www.jonsteinberg.com jonsteinberg

    Once Youtube cracked down on auto-play counting towards views, the people who were selling autoplay needed a way to continue to deliver “millions” of views at rock-bottom prices. Of course delivering millions of REAL engaged views at pennies is impossible for all but the most compelling video.

    Enter the “incented” views. You can't even imagine where some of this stuff runs and the setting it runs in. Check out the Virgin Mobile ad I screen grabbed:
    http://www.businessinsider.com

    Incented views optimizes for people who register for accounts that allow them to claim various kinds of virtual currencies. It's the Florida real estate seminar where they offer you a free toaster for attending – you get people interested in toasters, not real estate ;-)

    As you rightly conclude, the dilution is just too much. There's literally no interest on the part of the viewer. It's the opposite end of the spectrum from a click by an interested viewer who knows what they are clicking on.

  • http://blog.botfu.com Kevin Marshall

    It's the Florida real estate seminar where they offer you a free toaster for attending – you get people interested in toasters, not real estate ;-)”

    Point. Set. Match…can't be said better than that.

  • http://www.adventurista.com/ Sarah Tavel

    You’re right to point it out, Darren. I don’t like Incentivized Viewing at all. It just inspires mercenary behavior and attracts fraud… that just can’t be good for the advertisers or the publishers.

    • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

      Sarah, thanks for stopping bye! You’re totally right about the “fraud” part- a big part of this.

    • http://justin-singer.com/ Justin Singer

      Marketers call it fraud, consumers call it arbitrage. Had to share my favorite example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Phillips_(entrepreneur)

      Incentives turn ad interactions into markets and invite consumers to behave as arbitrageurs. Only in the event that the content and the incentive are complementary is that possibly a good thing. @jonsteinberg:disqus ‘s example shows perfectly how independent goods can’t incentivize each other. But if that same real estate seminar offered the Glengarry leads as an incentive, its customers would probably be of much higher quality.

      • http://www.adventurista.com/ Sarah Tavel

        Good points

  • http://www.adventurista.com/ Sarah Tavel

    You're right to point it out, Darren. I don't like Incentivized Viewing at all. It just inspires mercenary behavior and attracts fraud… that just can't be good for the advertisers or the publishers.

  • http://twitter.com/ericfranchi ericfranchi

    Incentivization has come and gone over the years. Think 1999-2000 with internet lotto/game sites that were built around the notion of incentivizing users to build an email database. That did not turn out well.

    Post-apocalypse it was still around in the form of first: co-reg and then, second: those “win a free ipod” banner advertisers. A user HAD to sign up for an offer/trial in order to get your “free” product. It worked for a few marketers. Think Netflix, Colombia House, Blockbuster:
    those whose offerings were theoretically so universal that they didn’t mind the low quality users and could just plug the bounty in a LTV calculator. It was just a numbers game. But overall, there was very
    little value for all but the hardest-core DR marketer.

    Coincidentally, Facebook was called out as the distribution platform a year and a half ago by Arrington with his “Scamville” posts http://techcrunch.com/2009/10/31/scamville-the-social-gaming-ecosystem-of-hell/.

    So overall I think it is a negative based on history in the space. The word incentivized gives me the willies.

    However you raise an interesting point since this is about video (presumably one that is viewed, sound on, etc). Not database building, etc. Is there more inherent value in a user who is incentivized to watch a video than an email submit? Maybe/maybe not. Which is why the suggestion you made (show us or execute the studies) is the only way we can tell for sure.

  • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

    Sarah, thanks for stopping bye! You're totally right about the “fraud” part- a big part of this.

  • http://twitter.com/ericfranchi ericfranchi

    Incentivization has come and gone over the years. Think 1999-2000 with internet lotto/game sites that were built around the notion of incentivizing users to build an email database. That did not turn out well.

    Post-apocalypse it was still around in the form of first: co-reg and then, second: those “win a free ipod” banner advertisers. A user HAD to sign up for an offer/trial in order to get your “free” product. It worked for a few marketers. Think Netflix, Colombia House, Blockbuster:
    those whose offerings were theoretically so universal that they didn't mind the low quality users and could just plug the bounty in a LTV calculator. It was just a numbers game. But overall, there was very
    little value for all but the hardest-core DR marketer.

    Coincidentally, Facebook was called out as the distribution platform a year and a half ago by Arrington with his “Scamville” posts http://techcrunch.com/2009/10/

    So overall I think it is a negative based on history in the space. The word incentivized gives me the willies.

    However you raise an interesting point since this is about video (presumably one that is viewed, sound on, etc). Not database building, etc. Is there more inherent value in a user who is incentivized to watch a video than an email submit? Maybe/maybe not. Which is why the suggestion you made (show us or execute the studies) is the only way we can tell for sure.

  • Dbarrett

    I agree with all who went the “dislike” route. I just think about a couple recent big promotions such as NBC partnering with Chipotle. Watch the trailer get a free burrito. I can say with confidence I hit play, tabbed away then went back five minutes later for my free grub. No clue WHAT the show was and did not care. Sadly they were probably a ton of folks on both buy and sell sides trumpeting the success. “Look at the # of views! Wow 99% completes!”. What was the rating increase? Did anyone really watch?

    I just think it is a poor model. People want the reward and will tune out the content.

  • http://twitter.com/matt_heindl matt heindl

    I have always thought that incentivized views were a little suspect given their relatively high cpv/cpm compared to traditional pre-roll commercials.

    However, I have seen models that include a little trivia question after a video play (to add at least a little reassurance that true engagement/learning occurred). Not a bad approach if you are approaching a targeted audience to spread a new brand attribute/hammer a point home.

    I am hoping the Farmvilles of the world don’t go down the cheesy “incentivized everything” route than many tool bars and “offer clubs” have gone… lining up affiliate deals on a page with unwitting (and mainly unsavvy) users checking boxes and creating lists and lists full of useless CRM data, junk mail and
    spam.

  • Dbarrett

    I agree with all who went the “dislike” route. I just think about a couple recent big promotions such as NBC partnering with Chipotle. Watch the trailer get a free burrito. I can say with confidence I hit play, tabbed away then went back five minutes later for my free grub. No clue WHAT the show was and did not care. Sadly they were probably a ton of folks on both buy and sell sides trumpeting the success. “Look at the # of views! Wow 99% completes!”. What was the rating increase? Did anyone really watch?

    I just think it is a poor model. People want the reward and will tune out the content.

  • http://twitter.com/matt_heindl matt heindl

    I have always thought that incentivized views were a little suspect given their relatively high cpv/cpm compared to traditional pre-roll commercials.

    However, I have seen models that include a little trivia question after a video play (to add at least a little reassurance that true engagement/learning occurred). Not a bad approach if you are approaching a targeted audience to spread a new brand attribute/hammer a point home.

    I am hoping the Farmvilles of the world don't go down the cheesy “incentivized everything” route than many tool bars and “offer clubs” have gone… lining up affiliate deals on a page with unwitting (and mainly unsavvy) users checking boxes and creating lists and lists full of useless CRM data, junk mail and
    spam.

  • LeeF

    Social media incentivized views provide another format that can be used as part of a brand’s video mix when a tactical objective is to reach users on the Facebook platform while they are in a social sharing mode. When looking at the performance, you will see longer viewing time and higher post view interaction such as sharing than video viewed on content sites. These formats run as “stand alone video”, meaning the brand video is the content and does not run before other content. Therefore the video can be any length, which gives marketers the ability to scale distribution of long form video beyond :15s and :30s. ”Forced to watch” is mentioned below but the social media incentivized video I have seen has been 100% opt in. The audience does choose to watch the video. They have several other options to earn credits and do not have to watch the video. Other forms of video advertising are incentivized, including preroll, where the user is ”forced” to watch the ad. Facebook credits and virtual rewards offer a new value exchange. In addition to enhancing game play, users will be able to use Facebook credits to make ecommerce purchases which should increase the growth and value of incentivized video for the user even further. The brand is actually providing direct value to the users for choosing to watch their video. Once again, transparency for the user and brand is key. While the value of credit incentivized view may be less than a user initiated (in-banner or organic) view without credits, incentivized views should still be considered, especially when a brands video assets are longer than :30s. When priced accordingly, incentivized views can be a successful part within the video mix, however, as with any media investment there are tradeoffs.

  • LeeF

    Social media incentivized views provide another format that can be used as part of a brand’s video mix when a tactical objective is to reach users on the Facebook platform while they are in a social sharing mode. When looking at the performance, you will see longer viewing time and higher post view interaction such as sharing than video viewed on content sites. These formats run as “stand alone video”, meaning the brand video is the content and does not run before other content. Therefore the video can be any length, which gives marketers the ability to scale distribution of long form video beyond :15s and :30s. ”Forced to watch” is mentioned below but the social media incentivized video I have seen has been 100% opt in. The audience does choose to watch the video. They have several other options to earn credits and do not have to watch the video. Other forms of video advertising are incentivized, including preroll, where the user is ”forced” to watch the ad. Facebook credits and virtual rewards offer a new value exchange. In addition to enhancing game play, users will be able to use Facebook credits to make ecommerce purchases which should increase the growth and value of incentivized video for the user even further. The brand is actually providing direct value to the users for choosing to watch their video. Once again, transparency for the user and brand is key. While the value of credit incentivized view may be less than a user initiated (in-banner or organic) view without credits, incentivized views should still be considered, especially when a brands video assets are longer than :30s. When priced accordingly, incentivized views can be a successful part within the video mix, however, as with any media investment there are tradeoffs.

  • http://twitter.com/btrenda Ben Trenda

    Darren- great premise to the post and the subsequent discussion that follows… I personally tend to agree that engagement via incentivized viewership is both 1) less valuable, and 2) probably a short-lived phenomenon (you can incent user certain behavior to a point, but unless the incentives are very high, the behavior will wane once the novelty has worn off)…

    That being said, and food for thought: the paradigm in advertising has always been about users trading their attention to ads for access to free content… TV commercials are the ultimate incentivized interstitial– until only recently, you were forced to watch them if you wanted to watch the program…

  • http://twitter.com/btrenda Ben Trenda

    Darren- great premise to the post and the subsequent discussion that follows… I personally tend to agree that engagement via incentivized viewership is both 1) less valuable, and 2) probably a short-lived phenomenon (you can incent user certain behavior to a point, but unless the incentives are very high, the behavior will wane once the novelty has worn off)…

    That being said, and food for thought: the paradigm in advertising has always been about users trading their attention to ads for access to free content… TV commercials are the ultimate incentivized interstitial– until only recently, you were forced to watch them if you wanted to watch the program…

  • http://twitter.com/treyshelton Trey Shelton

    Great discussion and let me add my own opinion after serving up similar digital incentives for over 5 years.

    My company Music Interactive offers sponsored music download incentives on sites like Pandora, MTV, Facebook, etc. for people who engage with a brand. Often the person has to watch a video to get the download of band X.

    Example: Venus ad on Pandora offering a free J. Lo mp3
    http://www.musicinteractive.com/pandora/venus/stage.html

    I’m sure it would be no surprise to tell you that our ads have a higher engagement rate than most banner ads in a similar placement. So as many here have pointed out, we are using valuable content to get people in front of a brand message. No different than me taking taking a client to dinner so they can hear my sales pitch. What that brand chooses to do with the audience we present them with is up to them. Hopefully, they have a worthwhile message.

    But, here’s the interesting part I will share to answer @twitter-19597222:disqus Fain’s comment. We see over 10% of the people who have completed their download clicking to find out more about the brand. I would argue that those people who click to the brand site after watching the video ad and getting their free music are an extremely well qualified customer.

  • http://twitter.com/treyshelton Trey Shelton

    Great discussion and let me add my own opinion after serving up similar digital incentives for over 5 years.

    My company Music Interactive offers sponsored music download incentives on sites like Pandora, MTV, Facebook, etc. for people who engage with a brand. Often the person has to watch a video to get the download of band X.

    Example: Venus ad on Pandora offering a free J. Lo mp3
    http://www.musicinteractive.co

    I'm sure it would be no surprise to tell you that our ads have a higher engagement rate than most banner ads in a similar placement. So as many here have pointed out, we are using valuable content to get people in front of a brand message. No different than me taking taking a client to dinner so they can hear my sales pitch. What that brand chooses to do with the audience we present them with is up to them. Hopefully, they have a worthwhile message.

    But, here's the interesting part I will share to answer @twitter-19597222:disqus Fain's comment. We see over 10% of the people who have completed their download clicking to find out more about the brand. I would argue that those people who click to the brand site after watching the video ad and getting their free music are an extremely well qualified customer.

  • kipbot

     Thanks for this post.  The pay-you-per-view mode has always struck me as weird.  While we’ve always paid people to watch advertising with expensive television programs and sports events, doing so directly creates markets and incentives that blur our understanding of the behavior even more.  Even with commercials, it’s hard to evaluate what really happened — was the viewer interacting with the brand or having a laugh?  Now there’s a third reason to question the view and we take on the burden of having to monitor whether people are gaming it.  

    • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

      Thanks for stopping by, Kip!

  • kipbot

    Thanks for this post.  The pay-you-per-view mode has always struck me as weird.  While we've always paid people to watch advertising with expensive television programs and sports events, doing so directly creates markets and incentives that blur our understanding of the behavior even more.  Even with commercials, it's hard to evaluate what really happened — was the viewer interacting with the brand or having a laugh?  Now there's a third reason to question the view and we take on the burden of having to monitor whether people are gaming it.

  • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

    Thanks for stopping by, Kip!

  • http://justin-singer.com/ Justin Singer

    Marketers call it fraud, consumers call it arbitrage. Had to share my favorite example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D

    Incentives turn ad interactions into markets and invite consumers to behave as arbitrageurs. Only in the event that the content and the incentive are complementary is that possibly a good thing. @jonsteinberg:disqus 's example shows perfectly how independent goods can't incentivize each other. But if that same real estate seminar offered the Glengarry leads as an incentive, its customers would probably be of much higher quality.

  • http://www.adventurista.com/ Sarah Tavel

    Good points

  • ThatGuyMike

    Way late to the party here…I must have missed the incentive to reply. 

    The negative impression of incentivized marketing stems from an assumption that consumers looking for the incentive will be forced to watch an entire ad experience in exchange for the benefit. 

    But what if it was only that initial moment of “active attention” that they needed to hand over to the brand in exchange for the virtual currency or content? Wouldn’t the brand need to present the consumer with something interesting, relevant and basically treat the advertiser-consumer moment like a conversation rather than an advertisement? 

    It’s in that kind of context where the value of incentivized media clearly outweighs the concern. It’s akin to that first commercial after the opening sequence of your favorite TV show. Before you can rummage through the Cheez-Its, kids, the family pet and your couch cushions to get the remote, that commercial has 5 seconds to hook you. The ones that do capture your attention are the most effective. The ones that don’t result in frantic pushing of the FF button.

    This kind of model puts the onus on the advertiser to deliver the relevant message in a way that’s more “neighbor-over-the-fence” than “frying-pan-over-the-head” (with a clear logo-shot prior to noggin knocking obviously).

    If advertisers are willing to take on that responsibility, the results are amazing. Over a minute of time spent with content, over 5 interactions per engagement, and anything from product reviews to video uploads can be captured simply because you treated the consumer more like a person than an Excel entry. Hell, you can even get 10% or more to share their experience.

    Because yeah, incentivized marketing can be dirty. 

    It’s just that it doesn’t have to be.

  • ThatGuyMike

    Way late to the party here…I must have missed the incentive to reply. 

    The negative impression of incentivized marketing stems from an assumption that consumers looking for the incentive will be forced to watch an entire ad experience in exchange for the benefit. 

    But what if it was only that initial moment of “active attention” that they needed to hand over to the brand in exchange for the virtual currency or content? Wouldn't the brand need to present the consumer with something interesting, relevant and basically treat the advertiser-consumer moment like a conversation rather than an advertisement? 

    It's in that kind of context where the value of incentivized media clearly outweighs the concern. It's akin to that first commercial after the opening sequence of your favorite TV show. Before you can rummage through the Cheez-Its, kids, the family pet and your couch cushions to get the remote, that commercial has 5 seconds to hook you. The ones that do capture your attention are the most effective. The ones that don't result in frantic pushing of the FF button.

    This kind of model puts the onus on the advertiser to deliver the relevant message in a way that's more “neighbor-over-the-fence” than “frying-pan-over-the-head” (with a clear logo-shot prior to noggin knocking obviously).

    If advertisers are willing to take on that responsibility, the results are amazing. Over a minute of time spent with content, over 5 interactions per engagement, and anything from product reviews to video uploads can be captured simply because you treated the consumer more like a person than an Excel entry. Hell, you can even get 10% or more to share their experience.

    Because yeah, incentivized marketing can be dirty. 

    It's just that it doesn't have to be.