FPBA Group’s in-between page CommFlash ad format will now enable automatically streaming video provided through Destiny Media Technologies’ Clipstream technology. The two firms will co-market the Clipstream/CommFlash unit which plays within a current browser window session as soon as a user exits a page and before the next page is loaded.
“Given the nature of this format,” says Jonathan Barsade, CEO of FPBA Group, “we’ve been looking at how to get it closer to a TV commercial. Obviously being able to deliver video is about as close as you can get.”
Like the standard CommFlash unit, Clipstream/CommFlash video ads load while a user is viewing a page and play immediately once she opts to move to another Web page, either by clicking a link, choosing a bookmarked site or entering a specific URL into the browser. The Java-based Clipstream technology streams the video automatically and requires no plug-in or download. The unit also gives users the option to skip over the ads.
Barsade thinks “users will more readily accept a longer format” than the standard CommFlash ad length of seven to nine seconds because of the video-enhanced format’s TV-like entertainment quality. Advertisers that have used the standard CommFlash format include AT&T, Microsoft and Sony Pictures.
It’s TV spot style ads like the Clipstream/CommFlash unit that a recent GartnerG2 report suggests using so as not to offend consumers who find formats such as pop-ups, pop-unders and banners to be disagreeable. According to the December 2002 Unpopular Pop-Ups Won’t Stop report, instead of alienating consumers through “very annoying” formats like pop-ups, “the best option is to find less annoying formats, such as interstitials.” Clipstream/CommFlash ads would fall into this category.
Rather than push for its proprietary format to surpass pop-ups and pop-unders in popularity, FPBA realizes sometimes it’s best to shakeup the system from within. Earlier this month, the firm released a study which found that, when run in conjunction with CommFlash ads, pop-ups and pop-unders performed better than when run alone. According to the study, conducted with peer-to-peer file-sharing company, Grokster, Procter & Gamble pop-ups garnered 120% higher click-through activity rates when run in conjunction with CommFlash ads compared to when they ran alone. Pop-under click-through jumped 21% when CommFlash ads were added to the campaign.
“We don’t necessarily want to promote pop-ups,” explains Barsade, who believes the CommFlash format acts to enhance the branding quality of otherwise action-driven pop-up ads.
CommFlash ads are ad server neutral and are accepted by a variety of publishers including BusinessWeek Online, Bolt, and CondeNet.