To engage users with video ads, context is everything

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Most of my work is on the internet and whether we like it or not, digital marketing plays a fundamental role in online business models. As bandwidth becomes less of an issue, video advertising is becoming more prevalent online. This means that we can now enjoy great advertising on the web, which would likely have been initially produced for television.

However, to resist "skipping in 5 seconds" and to connect with a brand on an emotional level, I've found the need for more than great video production. I need to be presented the ad in the right context and be in the appropriate frame of mind. The ability to do this is accurately and repeatedly, is something that truly differentiates digital as an advertising platform (duh!).

A lot of work is being done to improve ad-targeting; to ensure that users are shown the best ads at the right time. It took these four great ads in 2014, which all stirred an emotional reaction in me at the time, to get me to appreciate the real value of being presented targeted ads in the right context.

Australian brands:
Qantas: Feels Like Home. I was presented this ad only days after returning from an overseas trip (I'd flown Qantas).

Deakin University: Students react to their 2014 ATAR. I came across this ad after doing some research into minimum ATAR scores for Engineering degrees.

International brands:
Beats by Dre: The Game Before The Game. Tweeting about the FIFA World Cup, meant that I was shown this ad with football on my mind.

P&G: Thank You, Mom (Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games). I came across this one after doing some research into the history of the Winter Games.

It's worth mentioning that these weren't necessarily the only ads I enjoyed in 2014. There were some really funny ads like HelloFlo’s First Moon Party, exciting ads like Nike Football: Winner Stays and some great "feel good" ads like Thai Life Insurance’s Unsung Hero, which all deserve a mention as well.