Autoplay videos are nothing new, so you probably already know all about them (so I won’t bore you with specifics). You come across them every day when you’re scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and while you might be used to them by now, are you really a fan of them?
If you use them correctly and to their full advantage, autoplay videos can be very effective and helpful to a video campaign. But I don’t want to focus on the technicalities of using these types of video ads, I want to discuss instead how audiences continue to respond to them.
“Autoplay video, from a consumer perspective, can be unsettling, annoying, even the most hated digital ad tactic“, according to Digiday. While my own personal opinion on this topic is nowhere near that extreme, I know plenty of people that agree wholeheartedly with that statement!
When you Google “autoplay videos”, it is made abundantly clear, immediately, that people do not like them and wish they would “go away”, so to speak. The top three hits are:
- “Like it or not, autoplay video won”
- “How to stop autoplay videos”
- “How do I disable the video autoplay?”
I guess an upside for the people that hate them so much is that usually you have the option to turn off the autoplay feature? Which brings me to my next point…
From researching the topic it seems that the most positive feature of autoplay videos, for Facebook at least, is that the audio is muted until you choose to turn it on. But is that really a saving grace of these “unsettling” and “annoying” ads, the fact that you can easily avoid half of each video? This point kind of has to make you wonder, if advertisers know that people don’t want to be forced to see their content, so they mute the audio to give some freedom as to whether or not people pay attention, do they really feel that great about their chosen method of advertising? It’s no secret that a lot of people want to get rid of them all together, and others never turn on the audio at all, so how many people do they think they’re actually going to reach?
Another interesting thing to think about is the amount of videos you end up watching, simply because they’re already playing. How many times have you found yourself stopping mid-scroll to watch an ad, and then realizing that you’re actually watching it? Have you ever thought, “I can’t believe I just watched that”? Think about it this way: How many of those videos that you watched by accident would you ever actually choose to watch? How many of them would have been so intriguing just based on the title that you would have actually clicked a play button? You’re probably thinking, “Not many…”, right?
So if you take this approach, didn’t the advertisers just make their point? I mean, you watched it!
Autoplay videos are a debated topic, but it’s pretty clear that they aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
– Alli Myers