Doubleclick apparently just published a study on the effectiveness of video ads. Which is fine, it’s a new ad form that needs to be scrutinized. But the first couple of findings really state the obvious in my opinion:

When it comes to grabbing the attention of Web surfers, advertising distributed via online video handily outpaces static image ads…

Well, of course. Anyone could have guessed that, really.

The second fact they find is equally obvious:

It predicted companies that invest in online video advertising are likely to see significant results.

Wow, what a coincidence. I bet they’re more expensive, too…

I know, I know. You need this kind of study in order to really convince clients (or rather: their bosses) that video ads justify the budget spent on them. But hey, it sounds all the more trivial to me.

Only one thing makes me think:

„It’s a mistake for advertisers to assume that all they should do is take their television ads and move them to the Internet,“ he said. „I expect that the most effective video ads are the ones that compel the user to engage with them and initiate the advertising. Our clients are now mixed about whether their ads should play with or without user initiation… I think the best practice is to create the type of advertisements that users are going to request to see and initiate.“

I agree, that you shouldn’t just put your TV spots online. Rather, produce something truly interactive, with links in it. (Which could look like this.)

Also, the videos should wait to be activated. Neither should they start running with full sound right away (consider office situations…). The best I have seen so far were looping video ads without sound, but with a very visible sound „on“ button.