Point Roll Works to Improve the Interactive Online Video Opportunities


Gannett Co.’s PointRoll today announced some newbies for its in-stream suite of products, with some interesting opportunities to turn a regular batch of pre-roll into an interactive campaign, using tools the marketer or advertises chooses themselves to give customers the ability to hop over to your social media sites.

In the Point Roll plan your standard pre-roll can be imbedded with logos for Facebook and Google and Pinterest and other social sites, and with a simple touch those consumers can transported themselves to the company pages on those sites.

I like this second idea better; it sounds like a no brainer, which are ideas that get that name either because they miracuously deserve it or because the company deludes itself.  (Either way it works out, the drama is pretty interesting) .

This one from Point Roll puts a clickable branding logo in the corner of the pre-roll, allowing a customer to watch the ad and go directly to the brand Web site. In my imaginary world, the buyer you send to that site sees a pertinent bundle of persuasive ancillary data  and flattering product specifications. And that person is not seeing competitive nay-sayers on some consumer watchdog site.



Suddenly, the person interested in  solar paneling is getting detail on energy savings, government tax credits and efficiency just by clicking on your beckoning logo in the pre-roll.

In my real life, when I see a product or brand that seems impressive I’m skeptical, and I’m off to Googleland to get the lowdown from some source that is, as often as not,  hostile, naive or misinterpreting info.  A brand video that controls a consumer’s browsing by directly him away from potentially hostile sites and reviews takes a huge leap up, at least from their standpoint. (To some degree, all solutions for businesses have to adopt a caveat emptor attitude.)

The thing that is hard to understand is why consumers don’t dive deeper into Google/Yahoo/andYouTube universe on their own before getting sold a bill of goods. Peer-to-peer infomation seem so to be good for most consumers but good for only some of the brands that are being evaluated. User-generated reviews can kill a product, a restaurant, a movie.

The final new PointRoll offering seems weakest.  AdChooser allows the viewer to chose from four pre-roll videos ads before they get to the video they actually came from. And then, after that ad, it gives viewers the “opportunity"  to see the other messages, or watch the same one again.

Assuming you’re at the site to a watch a entertainment/news or sports program, choosing from among four messages you didn’t want to see it all seems like the kind of offer a consumer can happily refuse. But I may be all wet on this. Engaging ads built up good will, and drive sales. That’s the word, and it’s true to an extent, obviously. But frankly, I think for many of the ads out there, advertisers and marketer are kidding themselves.

7 comments about "Point Roll Works to Improve the Interactive Online Video Opportunities ".
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  1. Scott Clark from Innovid, January 28, 2013 at 4:41 p.m.

    Agree here with the author that it's a no-brainer for brands to embrace social connectivity, interactive pre-roll, and all the additional engagements and click options it provides. I would just comment that this is nothing new - this technology/creative has been in-market since 2009 via Innovid iRoll and is offered by several vendors. Not just with click-thrus but with real in-unit engagement such as live Twitter feeds, embedded YouTube player, and customized ShareThis functionality. Rising tide raises all boats, so kudos to Pointroll for now also adding social buttons and clickable logos to pre-roll. Hopefully brands will accelerate their adoption of these functions, set a new standard for the video ad format, bring more value to consumers in the process, and realize the true value, benefits and potential of interactive pre-roll.

  2. Todd Pasternack from PointRoll, January 28, 2013 at 5:18 p.m.

    Thanks, P.J.! Really appreciate you checking out the new video solutions and giving some great feedback on them. Many of our clients using AdChooser believe viewers are going to view an ad anyway, why not let them pick it? It's also a great way for advertisers to test a video creative in a controlled (and often cheaper) environment than TV, giving insight to the marketers about which of their video creative is resonating with consumers. A great current application for AdChooser could be for Dorito’s Crash the Super Bowl campaign. Multiple videos are being crowdsourced for the winning Super Bowl spot. They can highlight the various creatives and make it compelling enough that users will want to check out multiple spots. Or another great use is for movie studios to test trailers.

  3. No Plugs Needed from VidTech, January 28, 2013 at 5:31 p.m.

    In truth, I agree, this is not new to the industry. It is a standard overlay button which an estimate of only 1% of users click on when watching pre-rolls whether in an interactive frame or not.

    The bottom line with rich media – and it harkens back to the early days of the internet – is that platforms and tools may change, but we remain the same. We continue to feed our hunger to understand, to connect and share ideas, and we use rich media as a channel to do this.

  4. The digital Hobo from, January 28, 2013 at 5:50 p.m.

    C'mon, Mediapost. What kind of Pointroll commercial is this?

  5. The digital Hobo from, January 28, 2013 at 5:51 p.m.

    Hopefully Videology gets a refund for sponsoring this vendor profile.

  6. No Plugs Needed from VidTech, January 28, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.

    "LIKE" to previous comment

  7. No Plugs Needed from VidTech, January 28, 2013 at 7:52 p.m.

    Hey folks,
    Oddly just wrapped up a meeting which is relevant to this string...

    I have seen video technologies like Eyeview that actually change the video impacting 100% of the users. Now that is exciting!

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