“Why” not “Where”: Advertising Effectively
Mins Read
July 16, 2020

I was recently watching the cutest video on the internet right now. A mother cat was giving birth to two kittens. The first kitten came out and was wobbling around trying to find mom. Then the caption came up “…and now the kittens first meow..” My attention was riveted to this most innocent of moments when, suddenly the screen, my whole world right then, was taken over by an insurance commercial with a voice-over screaming about extended warranty coverage! I now want to murder whoever it was that interrupted that moment! I’m not a customer of theirs, I obviously wasn’t shopping for insurance quotes and now I absolutely hate their product. What connections are there between kittens and car insurance? The short answer is — zero.

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Seriously, outside of those terrible HR-enforced work videos, no one watches the video to intentionally torture themselves. They watch it because there is an interest in it. And when their interest goes, they jump to the next one.

This is even more prevalent, since YouTube announced that it will be lowering it’s requirements for mid-roll advertising. A video used to have to be 10 minutes or longer to be eligible for a mid-roll ad. Now, videos only have to be 8 minutes. This will create MORE annoying interruptions for consumers.

Online Video Advertising Trends

Let’s dissect what is happening now with video advertising. The market is becoming more saturated as marketers continue to modernize. Advertisers and their agencies are trying to find places to advertise their products or services with the expectation that their brand will see an improvement in brand recognition or new customers ready to convert. But because, in many cases, they are multiple layers away from the actual ad placement with the video content, with each layer interpreting different needs by the different players in this “chain”. The end result is the viewer ultimately gets a sub-optimal experience that makes the rest of the partners in this advertising dance get sub-optimal results.

How Traditional Ad Serving Platforms Work

This is done through huge exchanges within what is called Demand-Side Platforms or DSP’s (skip this part if you know it) that ultimately connect advertiser inventory with publisher inventory (or ad space) through a near real-time bidding system. The advertiser may put in some constraints of publisher inventory they don’t want to be associated with. However, many video publishers do not monitor or add their exclusions. If someone wants to pay them to help them sell cat food on with the video they produced about going to the beach? Great! Show me the money.

Lost in all of this, however, is the other side of the triangle; the viewer. This “content consumer” (from the publisher side) or “potential customer” (from the advertiser side) is the one who has to endure poor ad experience. Frequently, like the interruption above (known as the “Great Kitten Interruption of 2020”), people are increasingly detesting interruptive advertising and are willing to pay for it to never happen to them.

Recently in an interview with a large video publisher executive (who’s name and company shall remain anonymous), said “I make and have others make pre-roll all day long, but when I am forced to watch it, I skip it every time…”

It’s long past time to evolve this paradigm beyond caring about only two parties.

Creating Consumer-First Ad Experience

When technology allows us to understand what people are watching from scene to scene you can safely assume that they are watching out of pleasure or the purpose of information. More specifically, if they are paying attention to that particular scene, it can be assumed that something within the content is drawing them in. Maybe the celebrity who is in that shot, or a car that is being used, or the situation being talked about.

Consumers are already viewing videos — it’s no longer a question of where they are viewing to determine what you are serving. It’s about the “why”.

What if we could take the intrusive car insurance advertisement that (rudely) interrupted my kitten video and serve it on video-review of the all-new Ford Escape? What if we could then, make it not-intrusive and serve it exactly when the video was talking about factory warranties? The advertiser has a higher likelihood of the consumer seeing the full-ad. The Publisher has better results to report to their advertisers. The consumer can enjoy their video while getting valuable information about a service they very-well could need if they move forward with their new car purchase.

As a new startup creating a buzz in the digital advertising exchange world, CatapultX is changing the way advertisers reach their audience through engaging them with intuitive, content-specific placements. As our work continues to gather research and increase industry steam, it will require both advertisers and publishers to create an advertising experience that addresses the “why” instead of just the “where” to provide a better user experience for all.

Let’s end the tragic cycle of serving ads that ruin content and ultimately alienate consumers. We know “why” they are watching. Let’s advertise that way.

Founded in 2019, CatapultX is an AI-based platform at the forefront of innovative video marketing. Serving contextually relevant video ads that don’t interfere with consumer experience, CatapultX brings a profitable, engaging and enjoyable experience to publishers, advertisers and audiences. If you are interested in expanding the profitability of your content or building a more robust advertising portfolio, reach out to us at or set up a meeting with someone from our sales team.

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