JWT, formerly J. Walter Thompson, purchased the ad space for this pilot initiative, which will offer TV ads for Ford, JetBlue, Levi's, the Partnership for a Drug Free America, Scruffs, and Billy Collins--all chosen for humor or novelty value.
The HuffingtonPost is tracking e-mail forwards and online buzz about the ads, said Sarah Bernard, general manager: "We're adding conversation metrics, number of forwards, number of IMs, number of inbound links--and we can track this over time." Bernard said she thinks this could be a new model for online ad buys: "If we're doing our job right in this pilot project we're potentially creating a new set of metrics."
Bernard positioned the pilot project as an alternative to streaming ads that interrupt content viewers want to see. "We think people can actually like the commercials, but they have to be funny and engaging," Bernard said.
To deliver the ads, HuffingtonPost has partnered with Vidavee--an online video platform, which also serves as the source of some of the metrics HuffingtonPost is collecting.