Interview: Scot McLernon (Chief Revenue Officer, YuMe) Explains How New Video Ads Formats Can Increase Brand Engagement

Following YuMe’s recent launch of interactive ads for engagement across online, connected TV and mobile platforms, we have talked to Scot McLernon, YuMe’s Chief Revenue Officer, who explains further how brands can achieve superior audience engagement through video ads.

Otilia Otlacan: YuMe has just launched three ad units, all focused on increasing the brand engagement of video ads. Can you comment on what have been the drivers behind this launch, what has made you look into new ad formats?
Scot McLernon: This particular launch was primarily driven by findings from our brand advertiser clients and our Innovation Lab. Many YuMe advertisers want to run interactive ads on the YuMe Connected Audience Network as opposed to plain pre-rolls that lack opportunities for immediate, on-the-fly engagement. As a result, we now offer interactivity to all advertisers, particularly those seeking high brand engagement metrics.

Video ad innovation is not new to YuMe. This launch simply underscores our commitment to designing high-impact video ad experiences. We will continue to innovate and launch new ad units through our new ad framework and powerful video player technology. Moreover, we will continue to build and serve ad executions that reach audiences wherever they are watching video: at work, at home, and everywhere in between.

Otilia Otlacan: I have taken a look at the new YuMe Ads gallery and noticed there is quite a variety of social interaction that can be added to a previously standard video ad. Could you tell me a bit more on how the integration with various social media platforms works and whether there are any requirements for the publishers carrying these ads?
Scot McLernon: YuMe Ads allow for multiple hooks into social media integration such as driving brand followers and sharing brand videos on popular destinations like Facebook and Twitter. With that in mind, our brand advertisers utilize social interactions in three ways to build upon their social media presence and create a viral impact:
1.    Increasing fan base via follows or likes for opportunities to re-market or upsell.
2.    Sharing video ads or other video content, such as product demos and client testimonials to allow for further user engagement.
3.    Driving traffic to apps on social networks to drive brand consideration, improve recall, and [eventually] increase purchase intent.

YuMe publishers are not required to take further action in order to serve these ads as they are already equipped with this functionality. Also, new YuMe platform publishers and app developers can begin to serve socially rich, interactive video ads quickly and easily.

Otilia Otlacan: It is my understanding that these new interactive video ad formats can also be delivered on TV. What types of interaction and what engagement metrics are available in this case?
Scot McLernon: YuMe can report all interactions with our screen-agnostic video ad units. However, each connected TV environment into which we serve video ads varies in the level of interactivity support for video ads. Since some devices may not accept interactivity, Yume Ads can easily adopt to each manufacturer’s video ad environment. Whatever the case may be, YuMe tracks and reports on essential video ad metrics.

Otilia Otlacan: Of all new features offered by YuMe’s three new ad formats, which one is the most employed by advertisers so far?
Scot McLernon: While the Ready-Mades have proven to be quite popular among advertisers on cross-screen, integrated campaigns, the new YuMe Pre-Roll is the hottest new ad format, both on web-only and mobile/tablet video campaigns.

Otilia Otlacan: Earlier this summer, YuMe has strengthened its presence in Europe . Considering the differences in online privacy regulations between the EU and the US, do you have a different approach in working with your EU-based advertisers, as far as socially-enabled ads go?
Scot McLernon: YuMe complies with regional targeting and re-targeting regulations and does not map social media data to cookies. YuMe’s socially-enabled ads drive highly engaged users to brands’ various social campaigns to encourage interactions with advertisers’ landing pages, such as a Facebook fan page or official Twitter account. That is exactly what our brand advertisers want: to drive engagement within their already established social media channels.

Otilia Otlacan: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Scot McLernon: Brand marketers are increasingly looking to reach audiences via video ads across all screens and to obtain deeper insights into how viewers engage on those different delivery mediums. YuMe’s socially rich, interactive ad units help brand advertisers deliver a consistent video ad experience across any screen with the same interactive features, while sharing detailed analytics to provide insight into campaign performance on each platform. Moreover, allowing for sharing of video ads yields a greater reach of brands’ marketing messages, as impressions driven by a friend, colleague, and/or community recommendations on social networks can help a brand’s video ad campaign go viral.

About Scot McLernon, Chief Revenue Officer – YuMe

Scot brings over 15 years of interactive marketing experience to the YuMe team. He has built and led three successful web sales teams, including at CBS Marketwatch and CBS Interactive. Most recently, McLernon was President of Upstream Group, Inc. where he developed Habitat–the industry’s only combined training and networking event for sellers. McLernon was on the Board of Directors for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) for five years and co–founded the Bay Area Interactive Group (BIG) in 2004, which educates and helps network the Bay Area’s interactive marketing community.

Recognizing his accomplishments as an innovator and industry pioneer, McLernon received the ad:tech Industry Achievement Award in 2007.

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