Gabey Goh
Jul 28, 2016

Unruly unlocks Pulse and Future Video Lab in Asia

New offerings aim to meet demand for better insights and futureproofing of digital video advertising strategies.

Unruly unlocks Pulse and Future Video Lab in Asia

SINGAPORE - Video ad tech company Unruly has launched two new offerings in Asia, aiming to give clients additional insights into emotional advertising and break down what factors make people want to engage with an ad.

The first product is Unruly Pulse, an analytics dashboard that builds upon the capabilities and data from the company’s other services in video testing (ShareRank) and distribution (Activate). According to Unruly, the platform currently draws upon 750,000 data points.

The offering is intended to provide insight into the emotional trends of video advertising across sectors, specific brands and major zeitgeist events.

Brands and agencies can understand their brand position relative to their category and competitors, analyse individual ads and compare their overall performance in their sector.

The dashboard enables marketers to see which emotions drive engagement across different demographics, events, territories and product verticals.

Pulse is currently offered as a bespoke research and insights service to clients who wish to gain better visibility into current trends in market to inform their marketing and content strategies.

“By looking at the trends and emotional reactions to advertising content that’s out there, brands are better able to spot engagement gaps and opportunities,” said Phil Townend, chief commercial officer, APAC. “They can zig where others zag.”

Unruly Pulse findings for the APAC region include:

  • Audiences in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are three times more likely to have an emotional reaction to video ads than those in Singapore.
  • Men aged 45 and over are the group in Singapore most likely to feel inspiration while watching video ads. The opposite is true in the Philippines and Indonesia.
  • Happiness, inspiration and warmth are the three most common emotions felt by APAC consumers while watching ads. These emotions were also the most prevalent in the UK, US & Australia.
  • Consumers in Singapore are only half as likely as those in other APAC countries to share a video because of social motivations, such as self-expression or opinion seeking.

Townend shared that Pulse is the latest iteration of the company’s initial foray into analytics in 2013 with the launch of Unruly Analytics, which offered advertisers the capability to gauge the social impact of their current and previous social-video strategies versus their competitors.

Asked whether the company intended to offer Pulse as a standalone tool, Townend said that such an approach was done with the Analytics offering, via a freemium model, but there are no plans to do the same with Pulse right now.

“With Analytics, we ended up growing our services team just to deal with queries from users,” he told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “We were veering too much into the software-as-a-service category, which is not a space we want to be in. The intention with tools like Pulse is to offer our clients the intelligence and data they need to make better-informed marketing decisions. It is one component of our solutions suite.”

Townend added that should the tool prove exceptionally successful, the possibility of a spin-off unit might be considered. However, for now the company is focused on providing expert analysis to accompany the data on request.

Queries from clients that can be pulled from existing data can take around 24 hours, while more brand or situation-specific requests will take around a week for the team to gather the necessary input. The insights team is currently based in London but Unruly intends to hire additional talent based in Singapore.

Townend shared that the use of Pulse insights is already starting to have an impact with early-adopter clients in Japan and Australia.

Video lab launch

The company has also launched its Future Video Lab in Singapore, which is the first in Asia-Pacific and its fifth globally.

It was first launched in London in 2012, with subsequent labs in New York, Paris and Hamburg. The lab provides brands and agencies with an interactive overview of the online video ecosystem, organised around three topics: state of the market, content creation and distribution.

The lab has two editions that help advertisers and publishers futureproof their video advertising strategies and deal with the increase in ad blockers, which are predicted to wipe off US$41.4 billion from the global economy in 2016 (according to research by Adobe and Page Fair).

One edition of the lab will provide brands and agencies with customised, real-time data on how to create ads that are more likely to resonate with their target audience. It also shows marketers how new targeting and distribution strategies can help them cut through the clutter and deliver ads that beat the ad blockers and earn consumer attention.

Another edition of the lab focuses exclusively on publishers and programmatic buyers, highlighting the value of polite ad formats, mobile-first strategies and enhanced user experiences.

These best practices are supported by the company’s viewable video SSP, UnrulyX, which gives programmatic partners access to premium media environments, creates new inventory, and drives new video ad revenues.

Visitors will have access to data from Pulse, and the lab also draws from the “Future Video Manifesto”, a report the company released in partnership with Mindshare earlier this year, which surveyed 3,200 consumers from around the world about what they want from video advertising online. The manifesto also breaks down seven steps for creating user-friendly video content.

Townend said the rise in ad blocking is an existential threat to the future of the digital advertising ecosystem, and unless brands and publishers wake up to this threat they risk alienating consumers for good. 

A recent survey from the company found that 90 percent of APAC consumers would consider using software to block adverts online because they feel there are too many ads and they find them “creepy”.

“More and more people are turning to ad blockers," Townend said. "And who can blame them? Every day, consumers are bombarded with poor quality, over-targeted intrusive ads slowing down their user experience."

Townend said the lab’s launch was aimed at helping “restore trust in advertising”, with the digital video landscape evolving so rapidly that the company saw “an urgent need to help clients use Unruly’s video data and expertise” to futureproof their digital video advertising strategies.

He added that there is also a “pop-up” version of the Future Video Lab, which will be deployed at industry events and conferences that the company participates in around the region.

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