Heavy Corp. Weighs In With Revamped Video Ad Platform

Assaad Simon of Heavy Corp.Heavy Corp. has relaunched its premium video ad platform, Husky Media, with new features--including a "Help Mode," which alerts publishers when there is an error on their page, and an "In-Page" features, which allows publishers to show Husky ads inside their pages, as opposed to inside a light-box.


The relaunch is designed to maintain the high adoption rates that Husky has witnessed since being spun off as a stand-alone venture two months ago, according to Simon Assaad, co-CEO of Heavy Corp.

"We've signed over 185 partners in the past 60 days," Assaad said. "Now, we're working on ways to stay ahead of the curve."

Launched last year as a platform for video publishers to monetize their video assets at premium ad rates, Husky Media is aimed at young men ages 18-35. The video platform has built its reputation heavily on its "video skin" ad unit, which wraps video players with high-CPM ad units specifically designed for brand advertisers.

"Heavy has set a standard in terms of content exposure and engagement that we now expect from other publishers," said Craig Woerz, a managing partner at media agency Mediastorm.

As a result, Mediastorm has doubled many of its client budgets with Heavy over the past two years, according to Woerz.

A number of top Web platforms are now considering integrating Heavy's video skin as an ad standard, said Assaad. Just this week, he said he met with YouTube's branded entertainment division to discuss future partnerships.

"I would only characterize the meeting as exploratory," said Assaad. YouTube did not respond to press inquiries regarding a future tie-up with Heavy.

For the future, Heavy is aggressively pursuing feature filled skins, to further increase engagement between the consumer and advertiser.

"People can find out where a movie is playing right in a skin, or download a ringtone from a skin," Assaad said.

To support its ongoing expansion, Heavy recently added several high-profile executives to beef up its sales infrastructure. Anthony Katsur, former engineering vice president at DoubleClick, was brought in as chief operating officer of the Husky ad network.

Tommy Pizzo, former East Coast sales manager for MySpace, was named Heavy's VP of East Coast sales. Robert Koshar, former director of media operations for WebMD, was appointed vice president of ad operations at Heavy, while Tony Biel, former director of advertising sales for Veoh.com, was named a director of sales for the Western Region.

Heavy, which recently announced first-quarter year-over-year revenue growth of 58%, is also finding success with its own original programming. Over the summer, the company signed CBSSports.com as a distribution partner for its sports series, "The Burly Sports Show."

In the area of editorial content, Heavy just partnered with Heineken on a Top 10 list of news and events designed to give guys more informed talking points over their next round of Heineken Premium Light. During its best week, the show reached 1.2 million visitors.

In addition, while average rates for standard IAB image ads are 0.1% and in-stream video ads are 0.74%, the Heineken Premium Light campaign significantly outperformed IAB's figures with a 7.0% click-through rate.

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