Benefits of Pre-roll Video Ads for Advertisers and Digital Broadcasters

Blog 6 min read | May 20, 2024 | Martina Georgievska


Pre-roll video ads have cemented their status as a powerful tool for advertisers and broadcasters. Still, the untapped potential of this format continues to intrigue industry leaders.

In this article, we’ll cover the benefits, challenges, and best practices of pre-roll ads to help you maximize brand impact and drive revenue growth.

Benefits of Pre-Roll Ads

Pre-roll ads have become a mutually beneficial tool for advertisers looking for targeted exposure and digital broadcasters striving to effectively monetize their content. Let’s dive deeper into their advantages.

1. Better Visibility

With the average consumer being exposed to around 6,000-10,000 ads daily, pre-roll ads are your best bet for reaching an even wider target group.

Namely, pre-roll ads appear right before the content the viewer wants to watch. Therefore, the guaranteed exposure leads to increased brand awareness and a lasting impression on the audience.

2. Laser-Focused Targeting

Advertisers can take advantage of targeting technologies to tailor their pre-roll ads to specific demographics, interests and online behaviors.

3. Higher Completion Rates

Unsurprisingly, pre-roll ads typically yield higher completion rates compared to their mid-roll or post-roll counterparts.

That being said, non-skippable pre-roll ads reach a 80% completion rate as opposed to the 40% achieved by skippable pre-roll ads.

4. Positive Brand Association

By creating pre-roll ads that seamlessly align with the viewer’s interests and the content they are about to watch, advertisers create a sense of value and relevance.

Consumers get a more favorable view of the brand as they appreciate the consideration for their preferences and the absence of disruptive advertising. Plus, entertaining, informative, or ads that offer a preview of the upcoming content can leave a positive impression, associating the brand with quality.

5. Improved ROI

Unlike traditional advertising methods that often rely on broad reach and generic messaging, pre-roll ads enable advertisers to optimize their campaigns for maximum efficiency.

By pinpointing the right audience and delivering tailored content at the optimal moment, brands can minimize wasted impressions and maximize the impact of their advertising dollars.

Furthermore, the ability to track and analyze pre-roll ad performance provides valuable insights into viewer behavior, allowing for continuous optimization and refinement.

6. Increased Interactivity

Pre-roll ads offer a unique opportunity for interactive engagement. Viewers can be prompted to click on links, visit websites, answer polls, or even make purchases directly from the ad.

This level of interactivity not only increases viewer engagement but also provides invaluable data and insights into consumer behavior, allowing advertisers to continuously work on their targeting and messaging strategies.

7. Impact on Buying Decision

Pre-roll ads can directly impact consumer purchasing behavior. By showcasing products or services in an engaging and informative manner, these ads can spark interest, create desire, and ultimately drive viewers to take action, whether it’s visiting a website, making a purchase, or signing up for a service.

8. Increased Lead Generation

By incorporating clear call-to-actions (CTAs) within an ad, advertisers can encourage viewers to provide their contact information or express interest in their offerings. Businesses can then nurture these leads and convert them into paying customers over time.

9. Pre-roll Ads Are Easier to Understand

Pre-roll ads offer a distinct advantage over traditional TV ads in terms of viewer comprehension and recall. Their shorter duration and focused delivery in a digital environment make them easier to digest and less likely to be overshadowed by other distractions.

10. Immediate Call-to-Action

Compared to traditional advertising formats that often require viewers to take action later, pre-roll ads can elicit immediate responses. The clickable nature of digital ads allows viewers to click through to a website, landing page, or product page instantly, facilitating a seamless transition from awareness to action.

Challenges of Pre-Roll Ads

Although pre-roll ads offer many benefits, they are not without their challenges. Advertisers and broadcasters should be mindful of potential drawbacks to keep the effectiveness and sustainability of this advertising format.

Ad Fatigue and Banner Blindness

Repeated exposure to the same or similar pre-roll ads can lead to ad fatigue, where viewers become desensitized to the message and tune it out. Similarly, banner blindness can occur when viewers subconsciously ignore anything that resembles an ad, even if it’s relevant to their interests.

To combat this, advertisers need to constantly come up with creative solutions, vary their messaging, and use frequency capping to limit the number of times a viewer sees the same ad.

Ad Blockers

The rise of ad-blocking software poses a significant challenge to pre-roll ads. When viewers utilize ad blockers, the ads are simply not displayed, resulting in lost opportunities for advertisers and broadcasters.

In an attempt to overcome this challenge, some platforms offer non-skippable ad formats or explore alternative monetization strategies like subscriptions or sponsorships.

Negative User Experience

Intrusive or irrelevant pre-roll ads can negatively impact the user experience, leading to frustration and potentially driving viewers away from the platform.

Hence, it’s crucial for advertisers to create engaging, relevant, and concise ads that respect the viewer’s time and interests. Offering a skip option after a few seconds can also help eliminate negative sentiment.

Best Practices for Pre-Roll Ads

Pre-roll ads are effective tools for reaching a large audience, but they can also be intrusive if not done right. Follow these tips for a successful pre-roll ad:

  • Make your ads short and to the point: Pre-roll ads should be no longer than 15-30 seconds for your message to be delivered effectively before the viewer loses interest.
  • Insert call to actions: Encourage viewers to take the next step by including a clear call to action (CTA) in your ad. This could be a link to your website, a discount code, or a prompt to subscribe to your channel.
  • Get the viewer’s attention within the first 5 seconds: The first five seconds of your ad are key for gaining the user’s interest. Use this time wisely by highlighting your most compelling offer or introducing an intriguing element that will keep them watching.
  • Make the ad skippable: While non-skippable ads may generate more views, they can also frustrate viewers. Allowing viewers to skip your ad after a few seconds shows respect for their time and can lead to a more positive brand perception.
  • Use targeting technologies: Take advantage of available targeting options to ensure your ads are reaching the right audience. For instance, you can include targeting based on demographics, interests, or browsing behavior.
  • Allow autoplay: Autoplay allows your ad to start playing automatically when a viewer lands on the page. Should you decide to enable this feature, mute the volume by default to avoid startling viewers.
  • Optimize for mobile: With over 7 billion users worldwide owning a smartphone, a significant portion of viewers will be watching your ad on mobile devices. Make sure your ad is formatted correctly for smaller screens and that the video quality is optimized for different internet speeds.

Key Takeaways

Overall, pre-roll ads are a powerful asset when thoughtfully implemented. If you want to make the most out of your video ads, consider investing in a video solution like JWP, who offers ad scheduling and dynamic routing, as well as additional tools such as player customization and an ad infrastructure built on contextual targeting that will help you maximize engagement and revenue.

Contact our sales team today to learn more!