Online video has been sold so hard and for so long as the familiar, safe branding vehicle that will lure TV dollars online, we rarely hear much about its direct marketing potential. But ad software and services company Panache says that with the right formats and appeals, video advertising can also take names and become a hard core DM lead generator. The company is rolling out Tuesday morning a slate new products for its publisher partners to add to the mix call "Lead Accelerator."
There is nothing revolutionary here, in that we have seen the pieces many times before. There is a pre-roll at the center of the experience as well as a companion display element that can run more immediate and urgent offers. There is an in-video overlay that brings the calls to action into direct view. And taking aim at the product's initial target market of financial services, the overlay and display in the product's pre-roll also can dynamically pull in live data like financial feeds. In the case of the mock-up demo here, an E-Trade overlay ad has market updates and a stock lookup embedded in the pop-up.
"These are four classic elements that we are putting together in combination," says Panache COO Cheryl Kellond. She thinks that the branding effect of the pre-roll will be energized by having more deeply integrated calls to action that have the immediacy of live data. "It creates an immediate feeling by bringing four elements together into an environment where the viewer wants to engage, and it can drive the advertiser to direct marketing performance they might not get from a traditional video unit."
Panache says that the unit evolved from feedback from publisher partners. There was a need in niche markets like financial services for product that publishers could bring to agencies that had the familiarity of video advertising ties to metrics that could justify the spend. "Publishers tell us it has to be easy to sell," says Jill Druschke, vp of marketing, Panache. "The vertical focus was key." Also important to ease of use was combining four familiar elements, for some of which the advertiser might already have creative assets to deploy and combine.
The back end metrics are designed to capture leads or move the user to a lead-gen page. The hope is that enhancements like these to the traditional video pre-roll will bring to video lead-gen dollars that aren't identified with the category. They say that financial services is the first vertical partners will focus on because this was the place where the most demand was felt. While Panache has no advertisers to announce as yet, the company works with publishers like CBS and Fox News, which would have clientele in this vertical.
Clearly as video evolves beyond simply attracting brand dollars, it will need to weave its way into the other marketing goals and channels like lead gen. Arguably companion units can and do already accomplish some of this will direct calls to action. One of the things interesting about this multi-element approach, however, is the prospect for creative optimization. With multiple elements at work the marketers can tweak and experiment, do multivariate testing of elements and even geo or demo-target some elements of the unit while retaining the same creative in others. There are some interesting twists to this.
Rich Media has been utilizing integrated video for this purpose for a long time, it's truly the 'next level' agencies and individuals that have been capitalizing on this ability. In-player or VPAID formatted video advertising is bringing the 'video player' based advertising to that same level allowing for the units to be 'rich' and blend them into that video player scene.
This is more of a result of that video player format being widely adopted by publishers than it is of some paradigm shift or new information about what drives results. Rich media metrics prove that these types of executions drive results.
Direct response advertisers will not pay for this type of premium ad. So while its a great concept (rather poor execution though) getting DR advertisers to pay for the development and added costs will not happen. Another case of technology people trying to tell experienced ad people how to run their business.
The web is a vehicle that by it's very nature fragments audiences into thousands and even millions of tiny pieces. By contrast traditional TV works because it offers mass communication.
So while vide can play a critical communication role online, it's extraordinarily unlikely that it can ever approach even a hundredth or thousandth the power of traditional TV.
Making this appear to be a rather desperate attempt to place a square peg in a round hole.
One of many attempts around the fragmented web where companies (often VC funded) looking for some way (ANY way) to make SOMETHING valuable from social media, viral video, online this and online that.
I do applaud their focus on results. But, having put online video ads up for nearly a decade, their results of ANY type have yet to justify the cost of the ad - much less their creation.