IAB Best Practice Series: Online Video Advertising


#1 Getting Started – Length & Quality

The International Advertising Bureau (IABUK) has recently set out a new set of best practices in regards to online video advertising so we thought with the extensive growth in the area you should know about what they had to say. We’ll post a series of top tips that you need to know about online video display advertising.

Video Content

On the internet there are different types of video clips and programmes, known as video content. You must think about the audience you would like to reach, and the type of video content you will advertise around to reach them. Consider two important aspects:


The quality and length of video content will affect how receptive a consumer is to advertising in the same way as TV or written web pages. With online video, the higher the quality or the longer the clip, the more receptive a consumer will be to advertising. Think about what you want to achieve, short ads or different formats can be effective for your particular objectives.

What types of video are consumers engaging with?

The below tables show what types of video people watch, why they watch it and how they watch it. It is categorised as three types of video content called snippets, boutique and programmes and film.


Why are they watching it?


How are they watching it?



Obviously, advertising around higher quality, professionally produced boutique, programme and film content will come at a premium cost because they have greater brand association and a large number of people from certain demographics will return regularly.

People that choose to watch high quality content will be more receptive to advertising. For instance, if someone chooses to watch a professionally produced episode of Lost on Channel 4’s website, they will be more receptive to an advert break at the beginning, middle and end of the programme, largely because they are used to it on TV.

Equally, if it’s the world premiere of the latest music video from the Kings of Leon or Lady Gaga, people will be more willing to sit through a short advert to watch it. If someone clicks to watch a home made clip on YouTube, they may be less likely to accept lengthy advertising beforehand because it doesn’t seem worth the wait.

You will be able to judge quality based on your own knowledge of the content, and on information provided by publishers and agencies.


On the internet, very short video content (clips of usually 1 – 3 minutes) is extremely popular, forming the bulk of video consumed. Advertising around this short form content must be approached differently to long form content (programmes usually 15 – 60 minutes). Like quality, you will be able to find out more information from publishers and agencies. Rules to consider for length:


Come back to see the next instalment in the series: #2 Video with other media

Leave a Reply