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Industry experts make a united call for ‘creatives’ to tailor content to online consumption

[Thursday 19th June]: Creative advertising agencies are missing out on the opportunities offered by Video on Demand (VoD) Content, industry experts agreed today.

Agencies’ lack of awareness regarding consumer behaviour and VoD’s potential could be limiting audiences’ engagement with VoD adverts, claim Caroline Rushton (Director of Qmedia) and Kate Maloney (Account Director for media at kae: marketing intelligence).

Speaking in the aftermath of a panel event on Video on Demand, Maloney said: “Creative agencies are failing to see VoD’s full potential. There is a growing audience sitting there, with their computers, waiting for ads to engage with them and the creatives don’t seem to be maximising their potential. They’re submitting exactly the same content as they create for TV to an audience that – in some cases – have registered their viewing preferences, demographic information and even contact details. They should be tailoring their ads for online consumption and taking advantage of the unique opportunities offered by audiences who actively engage in online content, not just punting out the same TV spot all over again.”

Maloney’s sentiments echoed those of the panellists speaking at the event: “Creative agencies need to be educated by the broadcasters,” said Rhys McLachlan, Head of Broadcast Implementation at Mediacom. “At the moment they are refusing to engage in the VoD debate and as a consequence they will lose revenue. I would love to see more creative solutions, with more effort made on the content. Realistically, it is down to us in the media industry to take it to them and do what we can.”

David Brennan – Research and Strategy Director at Thinkbox – agreed, adding: “Media and creatives split apart at exactly the wrong time, just as all sorts of new media opportunities were emerging. Now creative agencies have been stranded – to an extent – and are finding it very difficult. They are sometimes stuck in the mindset of creating a spot ad or full-page print insert. But what they need to understand is that it’s not about silos or detracting from the main production: this is about creating strong, core ideas that can be spun off into multiple formats and media environments. By creating these strong ideas, we can contribute to the customer journey.”

Panellist Sarah Rose, Head of VoD and Channel Development at Channel 4, said: “It doesn’t need to be a full ad campaign as such, we’re just asking for creative thinking around what it is that the medium of VoD offers them.”

According to Maloney, these views are held not just by those in the media industry but also by advertisers themselves: “We recently completed a piece of research where we spoke to a range of different advertisers,” Maloney said. “There were some who felt that creative agencies were in a difficult position: their focus has been so fixed on TV and print spots that they’ve failed to get to grips with online. As far as the rest of the industry is concerned, the creatives just aren’t as media-savvy as they need to be.”

The experts’ comments arose at a briefing entitled ‘Video on Demand: The new frontier in online advertising’, held in London Bridge on Tuesday 10th June. Chaired by Simon Dannatt (CEO of Qmedia and KAE’s parent company Optimisa plc), the panel included Sarah Rose (Channel 4), David Brennan (Thinkbox), Rhys McLachlan (Mediacom) and Jonathan Gillespie (Head of Media Solutions with Google & YouTube).

The event highlighted recent research completed by Qmedia and kae: marketing intelligence, including research published last month by Thinkbox and IAB, examining the impact of combining TV and online in marketing campaigns.

Caroline Rushton, who headed up the Thinkbox/IAB research at Qmedia, commented: “Online advertising offers enormous creative potential that is going largely untapped at present, except by a few enlightened campaigns that are really maximising the opportunities of the digital medium.

“Video on Demand provides a perfect platform for the best ingredients of TV advertising and the best of online advertising to be combined creatively,” Rushton continued. “It also adds real value to the TV element of the campaign by making it work much harder and bringing it closer to the route to purchase. Commercial messages carried on Video on Demand can tap into a consumer mindset that is actively engaged in the viewing experience and, in many cases, can encourage a journey of search and response in the online environment.”

Speaking at the event, Jonathan Gillespie (Google & YouTube) commented on the importance of keeping customers happy with judicious use and intelligent design of advertising: “Take great care of your customer because the web is free. Your consumers can go anywhere they want online.”



Qmedia ( is the media arm of Quæstor – the Research and Marketing Strategists – with offices in Leeds and London. We offer full service qualitative and quantitative research to media owners and agencies. Our methodologies are tailored to our client's needs and include both traditional and ground-breaking techniques. We specialise in exploring the consumer’s relationship with media and content: developing and evaluating both editorial content and commercial messages, establishing patterns of media consumption and unpicking the effects of the media mix.

kae: marketing intelligence ( is a strategic marketing consultancy delivering evidence-based, strategic marketing advice focused on propositions, customers, markets, competitors and channels. We enable clients in both b2b and b2c markets to identify and capitalise on market opportunities, stay ahead of competitors, launch new propositions more successfully, build market share and increase profitability. Specifically, we provide bespoke research on areas such as market evaluation and forecasting, competitive intelligence and benchmarking and new product/service/business development (both b2b and b2c). Our approach combines incisive research, analytical rigour and practical thinking drawn from business understanding.

Optimisa plc ( is an AIM-listed holding company in the marketing services sector (EPIC: OPS). Optimisa Group is positioned in the space between the large management consultancies and the traditional market research, market intelligence and business intelligence providers. The Group companies share a common desire to deliver high-value, commercial market and marketing advice to help clients to grow their businesses profitably. The Optimisa Group continues to grow, organically and through acquisition. The Group currently comprises kae: marketing intelligence (, nxtMOVE (, Andrew Irving Associates (, Report International (, Quæstor (, Buckingham Research Associates ( and Summit Studios (


Caroline Dundas
Group Marketing Communications Executive
Optimisa plc
020 7960 3300


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