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Advertainment is where advertising and entertainment converge in the powerful force that is video. Advertainment drives audiences to action. It shocks perceptions, pulls the heart strings, and leaves a lasting imprint on the mind.

Ultimately, advertainment inspires engagement that moves beyond a view count, beyond a social share - to enable audiences to connect with your brand on a human level.


Brands invest in advertainment because it works. In creating content with sight, sound, and emotion, they create an experience for consumers they’re more likely to enjoy, share and act upon, to maximize earned media and ROI.

Advertainment thrives in the digital sphere. Brands can reach their target audiences and understand advertising effectiveness with a new level of precision. Where was my video shown? Who watched it? How many people shared it? As consumers grow more digitally connected, brand content moves seamlessly across devices and networks.

Emotions are spontaneous, subconscious and drive over 90% of our thought activity and decision making.

Source: Prof. Dan Hill, Sensory Logic
Insight Innovation Exchange June 16, 2014

38% of people purchase an item after sharing, retweeting, pinning, or ‘favoriting’ it.

Source: Vision Critical survey of 6,000
people in UK, June 2014

Brands and agencies rank video as the most
effective form of native advertising.

Source: MarketingProfs. Native Advertising Trends: Brands See Value, Publishers Like Sponsored Posts.

8 elements of advertainment

Advertainment will continue to evolve with new mediums and distribution formats, but there are eight elements across all forms of advertainment. The best way we could explain each element is with spectacular examples.

Evoke Emotion

Connect with your viewers by making them feel something.

Tell a Tale

There's a reason that people have been sharing stories since the beginning of time.

Create Curiosity

Capture and keep your audience's attention with an unexpected turn.

Stay Simple

To appreciate your message, viewers have to be able to understand it.

Command Credibility

Earn long-term loyalty by building trust with your viewers.

Go Genuine

Original and meaningful content is more likely to stick and be shared.

Concentrate on the Concrete

Make a clear connection between your content and your brand.

Tap into Tried & True

Think puppies. Appeal to a broad range of people with likable & familiar subjects.

The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing.

Tom FishBurne

Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the stories you tell.

Seth Godin

A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.

David Ogilvy


The proliferation of video is spanning across platforms due to the shift in online media consumption, accessibility of production and ease of distribution.



By 2020 there will be 232.1 million digital video viewers, representing 83.1% of the country's internet users and nearly two-thirds of the US population.

Source: eMarketer, March 2016

Digital Video
Viewer Demographics

internet users ages 12-34 are expected to have the highest penetration of digital video viewers in 2016.

Source: Digital Video Viewer Penetration (Percent
of internet users in each group). eMarketer, August 2015

0-11 12-17 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+


time spent per day with video

U.S. adults spent an average of 1 hour 16 minutes per day with video on digital devices in 2015.

Source: eMarketer, April 2015

Digital Video Ad Spending

2016 Digital Video Ad Spend

U.S. advertisers are expected to spend $9.90 billion on digital video advertising in 2016 and reach $28.08 billion by 2020

Source: eMarketer, March 2016


Video Ad Spending
Other Video
Ad Spending

Programmatic Digital Video Ad Spend

US programmatic digital video ad spend will increase by 84.5% in 2016, accounting for 56% of total digital video ad spend.

Source: Emarketer, January 2016

Mobile Video Advertising

"The Year of Mobile," has lasted about three years. Look up the next time you are commuting, it's easier to count the people who are not on mobile devices. So when you distribute that next video ad campaign to mobile - don't forget to consider the context and optimize for that experience (hint: it's going to be loud, people may not have headphones and are sensitive to what appears on their screen).

Video Ad Spend by Device

US mobile video ad spending is projected to reach $4.35B in 2016, or almost half of total digital video ad spend.

Source: Emarketer 2016

Mobile Video
Ad Spend
Desktop Video
Ad Spend


Smartphone Video Viewers

More than 105 million US smartphone users watched video at least once a month in 2015, or 55.5% of the total smartphone user population.

Source: Emarketer, Feb 2015

Tablet Video Viewers

100.5 million US tablet users watched video at least once a month in 2015, or more than 63% of the total tablet user population.

Source: Emarketer, Feb 2014



US Smartphone Metrics

Video ads on smartphones have an average completion rate of 46% and an average CTR of 2.36%.

Source: VINDICO, "2014 Annual Report", April 13, 2015

US Tablet Metrics

Video ads on tablets have an average completion rate of 54% and an average CTR of 3.62%.

Source: VINDICO, "2014 Annual Report", April 13, 2015


Where it all started

Here's a secret: advertainment isn't new.

Quality advertising has been impacting the lives of consumers for years, but new distribution methods are allowing marketers to get in front of new audiences in more compelling ways. Here's a brief history of advertainment's journey to digital.

First print ad announcing the sale of a book was tacked on church doors in England.
The first soap opera debuts on the radio, targeting women at home and sponsored by a soap manufacturer.
Pepsi versus Coke brand battle kicks off with "The Pepsi Challenge", the beginnings of one of the most recognized brand rivalries in history.
Apple's iconic '1984' Macintosh ad airs during Super Bowl, introducing the idea of the Super Bowl ads as entertainment.
The Budweiser Frogs - "Bud", "Weis", and "Er" - appear in a SuperBowl XXIX commercial and become one of the most notable alcohol ads.
Old Spice gets 30MM views with "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" and becomes a viral advertising success.
"Red Bull Stratos" shatters live stream records when over 8 million viewers tuned in to watch the highest-ever jump from a manned balloon.
Activia's ad "La La La (Brazil 2014)" featuring pop star Shakira becomes the most shared ad of all time with 5,375,756 total shares.
We've been saying it for years and it's finally official!
The IAB adds advertainment to their Digital Video Glossary.
"A video ad that uses storytelling to communicate a brand message. Generally refers to video creative that prioritizes entertainment over advertising and typically has a duration greater than 60 seconds."

Advertainment News

It can be hard to keep up the amount of news in our industry.
We've done the heavy-lifting to pull the best stories into one, weekly blog post.
Do you have an advertainment example we should feature?
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