Google will begin testing "skippable" pre-roll ads in videos on YouTube Wednesday that could lead toward a new advertising model.
The goal to move the industry toward more engaging high-quality ads requires a lesson in human behavior. The test that determines if and when people watch the video clips will provide Google with insight into the type of person who may skip an ad, what type of ad they might skip, and what piece of content does better than another.? I assume that there are some pretty clever people working on these Google video ad tests. Normally you'd start any testing with some basic premises -- insights into human nature that are universal and allow you to leap ahead, conceptually, and test something new -- not rehash false assumptions from the past (there's a definition of insanity from Albert that's begging to be repeated here...)
The one single thing that human behavior on the Internet, along with remote controls and DVRs, has told us all, loud and clear, is that consumers do not want any more "push" marketing, thus "The Death of Frequency" (link). The end of endless repetition in advertising means that no one, not now and not ever before, wanted to see the same TV ad, no matter how funny or clever (although of course making every ad funny or clever/informative is job one), more than a couple of times.
Give people the chance to skip it and they will, just as they'll skip over the same episode of Dexter if they just saw it last week. This isn't a problem, exactly, since they will watch an ad that is relevant to them, or REALLY funny/clever, more than once. We just have to produce a lot more ad versions to surprise and engage them. Wouldn't acknowledging this simple fact be an excellent starting point for at least BEGINNING to put "push marketing" to death and reinventing the way we approach advertising strategy on the WWW? Apple and Lee Clow already get this.
Just a thought.