Jeep Drives Off with Native Video Ads on Yahoo

A targeted, mobile video campaign earns a completed-view rate that was 50 percent higher than the auto industry average.

Mobile video is a rapidly growing ad format, but generic videos are not enough. Brands are increasingly experimenting with native videos, i.e., video ads that are delivered in-feed and targeted at specific audiences. Jeep is one such brand that deployed native video ads to promote its Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV with 15 to 30-second ads aimed at travel/tech enthusiasts and luxury SUV shoppers.

More viewers than ever are accessingvideo via their mobile devices, with approximatelyhalf of consumers' daily consumption of digital mediataking place through smartphones and tablets, reported the IAB.And Ericsson estimates mobile videotraffic will grow 55 percent per year by 2020. To provide mobile users with an optimal experience, Jeep wanted to deliver videos that fit with the surrounding media content without forcing the viewer to leave the page.

In the summer and fall of 2015, the automaker placed native video adswithin Yahoo's digital magazines such as Yahoo Tech and Yahoo Travel. In one of the 30-second Yahoo ads, Jeep emphasized the Grand Cherokee's ability to take people on adventures, while pushing its luxurious feel. The video highlighted the SUV's interior by mentioning its heated leather seats, chrome accents, and closed with a sweeping shot of a mountain range.

Jeep native videoJeep also used Yahoo's targeting capabilities to present the videos to people who recently searched for SUV content from a mobile device, as well as people who had shown an interest in gadgets and lifestyle content.

"We wrapped ourselves in Yahoo's content and worked to develop the right combination of copy and visual to give us permission to tell our story," says Amy Peet, senior manager of digital marketing at FCA U.S. "We did this by respecting the users by marrying their tastes and interests and not forcing them away from the task at hand. Also knowing the format was mobile we modeled our creative to be quick, to the point, and easy to digest."

After people watched the videos, Jeep followed up by asking them to sign up for more updates or visit local dealerships. The native video ads earned a "completed-view rate" that was 50 percent higher than the auto industry average and a cost-per-completed-view that was 60 percent lower than the industry average.

And while the automaker isn't attributing its sales solely to the Yahoo video campaign, Jeep moved 17,426 Grand Cherokees in November, a 2.8 percent increase over November 2014 when it sold 16,945 units.

The success of the native video campaign underscores the importance of delivering relevant content that doesn't interrupt a consumer's experience, Peet notes. "We see native video advertising as a unique opportunity for digital storytelling and raising brand awareness [and] we work to make sure we develop content that works seamlessly in the environment they are appearing and speak directly to the target we hope to capture," she says.