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Today’s consumers are watching more video content on a computer or mobile device than on traditional TV’s. Digital media is seriously changing the way people interact with brands, and marketers need to get on top of consumer viewing habits in order to reach your audience.

A shift in online viewing trends is not restricted to the type of device consumers are using. The type and style of content is a key factor as well. A Salesforce report detailing the consumer viewing habits indicates today’s audiences want personalised content.

Now that digital media has enabled consumers to personalise their discovery channels, more brands are converting to paid media ads rather than following traditional routes of advertising.

Tapping into digital influencers is another big movement we find brands engaging with more often these days too. Millennials trust influencers more than celebrities or brand ads.

Another major shift is streaming services. Salesforce report that 61% of media consumers switched to subscription-based video streaming in the past years. People want anytime-anywhere content.

Digital v Traditional

Some advertisers are reluctant to take the lead from consumer trends. The digital world is driving change faster than ever, and many trends turn out to be short-lived. Marketers therefore need to know when to go with the flow and when to stick with proven formulas.

The switch from traditional TV to digital media may only be a ripple in 2018, but by 2022, more people will be surfing on the wave of consumer viewing habits. Online videos attract bigger audiences across multiple channels year on year.

With mobile networks upgrading their services to hyper-speed 5G networks, together with improved screens on smartphones and desktops PC’s, and more online streaming services available in SMART TV’s, people of all ages will be switching to digital in the near future.

Consumer demand is already there. Traditional broadcasters have seen the number of subscriptions fall whilst streaming services are recording higher numbers.

So what are the reasons cited by ‘cord cutters’?

  • TV subscriptions were getting too expensive,
  • Consumers are not interested in one-size fits all packages
  • Audiences want content-on-demand
  • Consumers want customised viewing services

How consumer viewing habits challenge marketers

TV advertising in the UK is worth billions of pounds. When advertisers had a program schedule to follow, it was easier for firms to bid on when their ads would be viewed. Now the digital arena allows flexible viewing, your audience is not all in the same place at the same time.

Commercial formats also have to change. Whereas ads used to be a sweeping statement, advertisers are now honing in on specific audiences that are consuming content across multiple devices at various times.

Creating online video content involves more than putting together a main ad and running it during showtime. Consumer viewing habits are more varied these days. Email, social media, native advertising and paid ads all provide platforms that can reach your target audience.

And you need the right type of video content at the right time on the right platform.

Whilst TV still accounts for the larger portion of viewers, Nielsen reports that traditional viewing on the goggle box has declined by 44% among 18-24 year olds, and 32% for viewers aged 25-34.

It’s not surprising that the younger generations are consuming more online content on their mobile devices. Millennials grew up with smartphones and are accustomed to watching videos on smaller screens whilst on the move.

Despite the increasing size and sharpness of traditional TV screens, it is the content that matters most to viewers. So how are advertisers creating video content and reaching consumers with different viewing habits?

How leading brands are bridging the gap in digital media

Advancements in advertising technology allow marketers to create cross-screen-cross-channel content. Brands are launching campaigns that involve a variety of different content formats and are crafted to appeal to user devices.

Let’s take a look at some of the brands that are nailing modern video content in digital media environments.

An article published in Mobile Marketing indicates that premium brands are utilising the wide-frame Promoted Video ad format launched by Pinterest. The company examined six big hitter from the corporate world including Adidas, American Express, Chevrolet and Paramount Pictures.

Pinterest’s new wide-format ads aim to make the most of small screens. The ads standout in a cluttered environment and compel viewers to take action. Pinterest has said the number of videos running on the platform surged by 180% in 2017, and they are confident the platform is a more engaging environment for marketers to reach customers.

Some brands prompt consumer viewing habits rather than following the advertising crowd. Grey Goose broke the six second spot mould and went in the opposite direction by producing a nine-episode series of ads that lasted ten minutes. Put together, that’s an entire film!

The idea behind the campaign was to create ads that provided entertainment rather than interruption. In doing so, the premium vodka brand demonstrated how advertisers can take ads to another level.

American software company, Intuit also showed how digital media provides more advantages than traditional TV when they produced an animated video.

The brand wanted to raise awareness of how their three products can be used together. In order to do that however, they needed time – which traditional TV ads do not give you. A four-minute animated video reached 25 million viewers.

On the back of their successful ‘Lego Movie,’ the Danish toy makers also opted for video content to break into the Chinese market. It is estimated that 19 million viewers under the age of 19 access the internet in China so Lego teamed up with Tencent in order to “stay relevant” to a generation that is obsessed with online content.

Broadcasters will have no choice other than to make digital media readily available to viewers in the coming years. That means advertisers also have to consider how to reach your audience with the platforms and technologies available.

However, before you even embark on a digital media campaign, you need to know the consumer view habits of your audience. Then make video content they will notice, and want to watch.

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