Media Coverage

Amazon is Breaking New Ground in AdTech with ‘Video in Search’

Amazon, the e-commerce retail giant, is all set to test mobile video ad placements in product search pages – a bold step in taking its advertising business to new heights, in clear competition with Google and Facebook.

Amazon’s ‘video ads in search’ feature is currently being tested and the organization has invited various global brands to participate in the test process. Amazon has not yet confirmed or conveyed all the details about this new ad product, publicly.

Features and Aspects of ‘Video in Search’

As per company sources, ‘video in search’ will aim to engage Amazon customers with rich audio-visual content in the form of video ads, which are to be shown below the search results. Users can view them when searching for products using selected and relevant keywords (chosen by advertisers). These video ads will support two types of campaigns: a) product detail page campaigns and b) custom landing page campaigns.

MTA spoke to the following industry experts regarding this news:

Kerry Bianchi, President and CEO, Visto

“As Amazon builds its advertising empire, it makes sense to put its energies into one of the fastest-growing ad segments: video. And I expect advertisers to be quick to test it out. Amazon is already an attractive ad platform for the unique insights into buying intent it can derive from search and browsing behavior. I would expect advertisers will welcome the addition of video, with its power to connect on an emotional level while delivering deeper brand messages. That said, Amazon will still need to prove strong ROI before there’s widespread adoption, as advertisers will need proof that the premium pricing and minimums required to get started are worth it.”

Krish Sailam, VP, DWA

“These ads will help set the stage for brands to use video for direct response, similar to what YouTube is doing with YouTube for Actions. The difference with the Amazon use case is that these videos should be used to explain key product use cases or highlight reviews rather than traditional brand messaging. The storyboard for the videos has to be different – it has to be more customized to the mindset of an Amazon customer who is in the app actively searching for a “solution.”  These videos can be a great vehicle for building trust with the user, rather than just awareness. This trust is more powerful than consideration in my opinion.” He further added, “I think it presents a great opportunity for brands to crowd source video reviews and use those as the video ads in search.  So in summary, the new offering is relevant, but I think Amazon has to work with Advertisers to find the sweet spot in terms of what video in search means for the consumer. You can’t assume a regular 15s or 30s spot will make sense in a search result, especially in a commerce flow like the Amazon app.”

Craig Benner, Founder and CEO, Accretive Media

“Amazon’s in-search video ads should be highly successful as long as they don’t overdo it.  Video has already proven to be the most emotive, response-inducing format in online.  So now you couple sight, sound, and motion with a consumer that has already shown explicit interest in a specific product segment by searching for it.  That’s as powerful a combination you can hope for.  It’s like showing someone a TV commercial for your restaurant the minute they say they are hungry!”

Ryan Lester, Director of Customer Engagement, LogMeIn

“Video is a great way to engage with a potential customer assuming it’s the right customer.   Blanketing video ads can feel invasive or annoying to customers that aren’t serious buyers.  On the flip side, seeing a product in action or hearing positive reviews can certainly help convert a sale.   In order for video ads to be truly effective and deliver strong ROI, they need to be reaching the right audience and be a seamless part of the customer journey.  Meaning that if a customer takes the time to watch the video, it’s imperative that customers are able to ask questions or buy the item right from that experience otherwise it can feel disjointed and you run the risk of losing them.   In a world where consumers expect companies to be able to almost predict what they want, retailers need to have a better understanding of their audiences, their demands and expectations. This is where AI can play a key role in helping brands identify consumer intent, know how and when to market to them, and provide a better overall experience.”

Fernando Saiz, CMO, Tappx

“Amazon’s recent announcement confirms a trend that we have seen at Tappx, which is that mobile in-app advertising is significantly growing in video formats and complexity. There is no doubt that video is an information superconductor i.e. highly effective, engaging and fun. Video ‘superconductivity’ is priceless in the mobile app environment, as moving images and sounds can convey a huge amount of information in a very short space of time. Whereas with static ad formats e.g. banner ads, buyer immediacy and intent can be diminished when consumers access relevant information i.e. friction is created, and micro-moments are lost. So, if video ads improve the buyer experience, should one expect an expansion into organic product listings? At present, Amazon customers have to experience premium advertisements within the Amazon mobile app. In the mid-term, we are likely to witness a highly visible increase in video advertising across the entire e-commerce ecosystem, and it probably will be extended to search results, specifically in industries where visual appeal is most important in the buying decision process e.g. travel or real estate.”

This article was originally published in MarTech Advisor 8/27/18.