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Maven Tests Interactive Web Video Ads

Oct 14, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Online television technology provider Maven Networks has begun testing new interactive Web video ads with Scripps Networks, Fox News and media agency Ogilvy.
The new ad formats move beyond the pre- and post-roll spots that dominate Web video today but are considered intrusive by consumers. The Maven technology will let advertisers creative interactive menus and let users click on overlay ads to jump to sponsored videos they can interact with.
Maven is the latest company to introduce technology and tools to deliver ads that are targeted and less intrusive. Last week video search engine Blinkx introduced a widget to let any Web site that embeds video run contextually relevant ads alongside those videos, while Google expanded its video ad project to let any AdSense site now embed select YouTube videos with overlay ads.
“Everyone is grappling with how to improve on the advertising model,” said Will Richmond, president of broadband video research firm Broadband Directions. “Maven is putting a significant foot forward in terms of trying to flesh out what an improved ad model would look like.”
Maven’s media partners are aiming to launch commercial campaigns using the system starting in November. Scripps Networks plans to test the new tools next month on FoodNetwork.com and other sites. Scripps also will incorporate Maven’s player into a new real estate-focused site launching soon.
“The big picture is, what is the model that will be most effective to get those video ads to be seen on a large scale?” said Jeff Meyer, senior VP for interactive sales at Scripps. Linking from an overlay to a video ad feels less intrusive than a 15-second spot, he said.
Advertisers are keen for change.
“Ogilvy is working with Maven to help evolve the platform to create new formats in online video advertising that truly reach the right target at the right time with the right message. It is the holy grail of advertising that marketers have been searching for,” said Maria Mandel, senior partner and executive director for digital innovation at Ogilvy Interactive.
The introduction of new ad formats that lay on top of a video or link to other videos can increase the ad inventory in Web video by layering ads throughout the length of the viewing experience, said Kristen Fergason, VP of marketing at Maven.
Creating more inventory likely will increase the revenue that flows into Web video advertising over the next year. Online video advertising should hit $775 million this year, up 89 percent, and reach $1.4 billion next year, for a 74 percent rise, according to eMarketer.

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