The next logical step for video will become socially targeting real-time ads online. And many companies are working to make that a reality in 2011.
Tom Phillips, CEO of Media6Degrees, sees it as the next step for addressable TV -- the ability to identify the audience by browser, similar to the way audience targeting gets done with display ads online. It gives brands a one-on-one relationship with consumers.
Video offers engagement "substantially" greater than static display advertising, Phillips says. And through the technology, brand marketers now have a way to measure the impact online. By measuring the halfway and full-completion rates of pre-roll and mid-roll videos, advertisers gain a tool to determine how much branding impact they have. Partnerships with BrightRoll, Adap.tv and AdBrite make it possible.
The technology and processes are in the very early stages. It required Media6Degrees to hunt down video networks that allow the company to bid on individual cookies to deliver the pre-roll on a targeted basis. When real-time bidding becomes an option, the process will become even more complicated, Phillips says. He calls it a "technological leap" that will occur next year.
One local Houston television station began in November to repurpose ads running on cable stations for its Web site to drive audiences back to TV broadcasts. The idea to promote the news to a different audience other than those already watching on-air programming led Dale Lockett, director of creative services at Houston's KHOU-TV, to test the service in November, hoping to reach consumers through the Web site. "There's little overlap between on-air and Web audiences, so repurposing content from broadcast TV for the Web seemed logical. Only a quarter of our dot-com audience watches our newscast," he says.
The interaction and engagement rates during the test "exceeded expectations because the numbers don't lie," says Lockett. "The engagement rates each day were between 40 to 50 times of what I would see with the normal click-through rates for banners. Engagement rates were between 7% and 10%."
Banner ads on the Web site promoted specific topics and investigative report pieces that might air on television later that day. Marketers can change out ads quickly to keep up with the changing news topic on TV. Lockett admits skepticism at first, but after the first week the team had mastered the process, switching out the ads in a matter of minutes.
Attributing success in part to significant investigative stories focused on the local community during sweeps, Lockett says the creative department designed ads with video animation to draw eyes to rollover ads rather than click-through banners, the same video pieces that would appear in cable ads on TV.
While most of KHOU-TV's ad buy goes toward cable and radio, Lockett felt the prospect of reaching an audience online did not seem all that bad. The technology from dynamic video ad provider Mixpo, which charges on a cost-per-view impression basis, helps advertisers convert existing television spots into dynamic video ads through an integrated media platform that targets online audience segments.
Mixpo's tool offers behavioral targeting, dayparting and message sequencing, allowing marketers to schedule the ability to change ads based on the time of day. The idea allows television stations to extend on-air promotions using their existing Web site inventory with a subscription model and reach viewers within targeted geographies through Mixpo's media offering.