There was a great post this week at Silicon Alley Insider (for which I occasionally write) about how some video ad network providers such as Tremor Media insist that advertisers, publishers, and even users are actually OK with pre-roll video ads, all the way up to 30 seconds in length.
This is a somewhat controversial statement which we completely agree with at Meez since we see the same positive user behavior around the video pre-roll ads we run before a user plays a flash game. We see almost no drop-out activity, receive no user complaints (unlike audio or expanding banner ads), and we see consistent 1.5-3% click through rates from users. Yet, this ad unit continues to get absolutely trashed in the press and blogosphere, primarily based on negative experiences around YouTube, which is generally a mixed bag of user generated content, not high quality games or well known commercial video.
I have repeatedly had the same conversation with other high quality, US-centric sites (e.g. Cool Hunting, SOMA Girls) where we are mystified by the relative lack of advertiser demand for a high-performing, easy to deliver ad unit like video pre-roll. Given the declining response metrics of most display advertising units and inherent difficulties of selling one-off sponsorships (which we do with lots of consumer brands like Nike), every branded company should be re-considering the video pre-roll unit, especially if you can repurpose existing ads.