Video Advertising Trends: 3 Lessons from Our 2021 Survey Findings

Learn about three ways to build better video advertising campaigns based on insights from our 2021 global consumer survey.

Video holds consumers’ attention like no other type of content. It’s everywhere—on our TV screens, computers, tablets, and smartphones—and it’s all about choice: Consumers can choose what, when, and where they want to watch on demand.

The attention-grabbing nature of video makes it a popular ad format. But because video is so immersive, marketers must understand when consumers are most receptive to ads while they’re watching video and what types of ads they want to see—or risk interrupting the video-viewing experience.

Criteo recently surveyed more than 9,000 video viewers globally to find out their advertising preferences. The first piece of good news: Video is consumers’ preferred online ad format, especially when ads appear before or after video content rather than interrupting it.


Most consumers across generations like video ads because they think they’re entertaining and engaging. In addition, more than one-third of viewers like video ads that have a storyline and are interactive.


Below, learn about three ways to build a better video advertising strategy based on more insights from our global survey.

How to Level-Up Your Video Advertising Strategy

  1. Drive product searches and purchases
  2. Make ads relevant and useful with first-party data
  3. Invest in connected TV advertising
Online Video Advertising Guide

How to Use Video to Drive Business Results.

Video Insight #1: Drive product searches and purchases

We asked consumers what actions they take after seeing a video ad and found that video advertising drives searches and purchases.

Half of viewers say they purchase the products and services they see in video ads. More than half say they’ll search for the product or service on their computer (58%) or mobile device (57%) or visit the advertiser’s website (52%).

Among millennials and Gen Z, these rates are even higher. Sixty percent of viewers in these generations will purchase products they see in video ads, and almost 70% will search for products on their mobile device.


Video advertising is commonly used for broad brand awareness campaigns, but our data shows that people are watching video content with a buying mindset and are willing to browse and purchase from a brand they may have just discovered.

There is a big opportunity to build a commerce media strategy for video advertising and drive outcomes at every step of the path to purchase.

Commerce media is an approach to digital advertising that combines commerce data and intelligence to target consumers throughout their shopping journey and help marketers and media owners drive commerce outcomes (sales, revenue, leads).

Marketers should run awareness, consideration, and conversion video campaigns at the same time through the same technology partner to drive audiences from one stage of the customer journey to the next.

Video Insight #2: Make ads relevant and useful with first-party data

While consumers appreciate the option to jump over a video ad, they may be less inclined to skip an ad if it’s relevant to them.

Our survey found that 2 in 5 viewers want to see products and services they’re interested in as well as useful and relevant information in video ads. One-fourth of viewers think it’s important to get a special offer or discount.


At the same time, 1 in 4 consumers are willing to share data with advertisers to receive ads that are more relevant to them. Among the age groups, millennials are most willing to share their data in exchange for personalized ads.


When we break it down further, almost two-thirds of consumers are willing to share demographic data like age and gender with advertisers.

One-third are willing to share their online shopping data—which allows advertisers to personalize ads based on recent shopping behaviors.


First-party data that consumers opt-in to share will be the key to addressable advertising in the future. It’s important to establish the value exchange now: Consumers share their data in exchange for the relevant and personalized video ads they want to see.

Advertisers can keep providing the ad experience viewers want and building effective ad campaigns with this first-party data.

The right advertising partner can help activate first-party data to deliver relevant ads to addressable audiences, as well as enhance an advertiser’s first-party database with additional commerce data showing behavior and purchase intent to get a 360-degree view of consumers.

Video Insight #3: Invest in connected TV advertising

Connected TV, or CTV, refers to a device where ads are served within shows and movies that are streamed via over-the-top (OTT) services on any connected TV (televisions with a built-in internet connection) or streaming devices (like Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, or Roku). (Click here for our full Connected TV Glossary.)

Our survey found that more than half of consumers spend over 5 hours per week watching free streaming content, and one-third will watch more free content in 2022. (Click here for more video streaming trends.)

Typically, free and low-cost streaming services come with advertising. For example, our research revealed that most viewers—2 out of 3—would choose a viewing option with ads to save money.

This provides advertisers with many opportunities to reach highly engaged viewers watching free video streaming content.


Most viewers around the world use the same email ID to access video streaming services and other websites and apps, including when they’re shopping online and in apps.


This means that marketers can connect video viewing with shopping behaviors across devices and channels using privacy-safe hashed email addresses. The right advertising partner can help connect viewing habits across channels and devices to specific online shopping activities using additional commerce data.

Ready to get started? Click here to build your next video ad campaign. For access to the full survey results, reach out to your Criteo contact.

More Video Advertising Tips

1Criteo State of Video & Connected TV Survey, Global, Q2 2021, N=9,221. Survey respondents are consumers who own a smart TV or an internet TV device and watch a paid or free video streaming service.

Tricia Carr

Tricia is a writer and editor obsessed with learning new things. She's written about everything from retail trends and marketing technology to cocktails and vegan food. When she's not creating content, she's probably getting lost in New York or cooking breakfast food.

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