Bravo In-Text Campaign For 'Project Runway' Yields Big Results

A user-initiated in-text video advertising campaign during the month prior to the launch of the new season of Bravo's "Project Runway" proved to be a huge success, with a viewer audience that was 40% higher this year than last, according to Nielsen Ratings.

Some 872,000 viewers tuned in to see the show's season premiere last Wednesday--up from 621,000 who watched in 2006, Bravo reports.

The campaign--created by Spark Communications with user-driven expandable video technology from Vibrant Media--reached 69 million unique users in the U.S., says Laura Valentino, digital media specialist at New York-based Spark. "From a pure click-through rate standpoint, we received click-through rate that was on-par and above-par for the entertainment vertical benchmarks they have at Vibrant Media," Valentino says.

By securing words that are relevant to the campaign, the campaign engaged users with an expandable video ad campaign when they chose to move their mouse over words including "Project Runway," "designers," and "reality series." Users could then choose to click through the video ad--driving them to a landing page where they can obtain new season information including cast bios and schedule, view videos, and participate in community boards. The in-text ads were available on sites including,, and Fox News Entertainment.



The unit accommodates almost any video size, and expands to about 300 pixels wide when a user chooses to mouse over it. Vibrant Media currently analyzes more than 500 billion words per month within premium Web content, says Anna Kassoway, vice president of marketing at New York-based Vibrant.

"The idea is--nobody has to see an ad unless they choose to move their mouse over (the relevant word)," Kassoway says.

Bravo is the first client to use the expandable video in a campaign, she says. Going forward, the medium should prove very useful to clients, who can provide any video asset to be used in conjunction with an expandable video ad, Kassoway says.

"That solves a major industry problem because a lot of advertisers have things like in-banner video assets or pre-roll assets, or wide-screen assets or assets that have run on television," she says. "And the unit can not only accept any video asset that already exists, the copy on the left is handwritten and immediately makes it relevant to the word the user is mousing over. It's a user-controlled environment, but they are getting a larger brand experience."

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