November 22, 2006 4:00 AM PST

Ads 2.0: Beyond the repurposed TV spot

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"Ad agencies should shoot for online and TV at the same time and use outtakes and funny bloopers" for the online ads, said Gokul Rajaram, a product manager at Google AdSense.

Eventually, video ads will be targeted to the behavior of the Web surfer. For instance, a consumer who searches for used cars on a classifieds Web site but then goes to read a news site can be served up video ads for cars on that latter page.

What's Google up to?
Google offers so-called click-to-play video ads where an advertiser can provide Google a static ad image and some related video and Google will create a video ad that will appear on its AdSense Web site partners who choose to host video ads, Rajaram said. "We are only going to use user-initiated video in banner ads," he said.

Google is testing post-roll and mid-roll video ads on some of its premium content on Google Video that viewers otherwise would be charged for. Viewers can see on a streaming bar where in the clip the ad will show and they can skip it, in which case the advertiser does not get charged, Rajaram said. Viewers can also post comments about the video or the ads, which tend to run 15 seconds. The ads are contextually targeted, like Google's text-based ads, so, for example, a sports ad runs with sports-related video content.

The company also is testing interactivity features in its online video ads, Rajaram said. "It's a way of getting users more engaged," he said. "We are starting to look at all kinds of things to improve the interactivity."

Google conducted a test with MTV video content in which Google packaged MTV shows with related advertising for some of its AdSense Web publisher partners. The ads played in the middle of the clip. Google will have a similar ad distribution offering widely available early next year, Rajaram said.

Meanwhile, Google is mum on exactly how it plans to make money off the viewers that go to the popular YouTube site.

Is there room for start-ups in this growing business?
< Sure. Turn Here, a start-up in Emeryville, Calif., will create 45-second to 2-minute spots for small and large businesses, for example. The company charges local businesses $300 to produce small, relatively uncomplicated videos. Larger clients who want more complex shoots, such as the Intercontinental Hotel chain, pay more, but they still pay a lot less than they would traditionally, said CEO Brad Inman. Turn Here's commercials are largely documentaries of the business doing the advertising.

What's the market potential for online video ads?
While video ad spending is predicted to reach $775 million next year, from $410 million this year, it still only represents 4.2 percent of all online ad sales in the U.S., according to eMarketer.

"Video advertising will grow faster than even paid search," said David Hallerman, a senior analyst at eMarketer. Eventually, video ads will even be accessible via search engines, he said.

"The potential for the use of video for advertising online," Hallerman added, "goes far beyond the effectiveness, if not dollars, spent on television because of all of the interactive ways it can be woven in."

CNET reporter Michael Kanellos contributed to this article.

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No subs/closed captioned available.
The biggest headache about online streaming video is that it isn't subtitled/closed captioned for the hearing impaired. Since the law doesn't require it (Yet, it's being worked on!), advertisers or hosts seem to want to ignore a growing percentage of their market, since hearing problems are on the rise. Figures. Well, at least it's easier to ignore the ads this way! *grin*
Posted by randymi (1 comment )
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Totally agree
I remember when I first complained to Netscape in 1997 or 87 about popup windows.They haughtily told me they had to make money and slammed the phone down.

Unless something is done quickly about the ads on the videos then some sensing device will come along. I'll be the first to purchase it or I will continue what I'm doing - click the video off at the first inkling of a commercial. Period. At my age there is nothing out there that I have to see.
Posted by rchappell (1 comment )
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Less is more
I don't understand the relunctance to go much shorter with ads. Attention spans are so small; an impression only takes a couple of seconds.

Why not go down to a five second pre-roll ad for all videos less than 90 seconds? Five seconds is a lot of time to do something slick if the logo/brand is prominent the whole time. Sinec it's so short, no one will look for ways to get around it.

Posted by jg867 (3 comments )
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Needs to balanced
On TV, you watch 90-120 seconds of commercials for 10 minutes of content.

On the web, you can easily watch 5-6 minutes of ads for the same amount of content and that doesn't include all the peripheral ads that usually surround the content.

At least the major sites are starting to realize this.
Posted by adlyb1 (123 comments )
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Thinking Outside the TV Box
With the Ultramercial patents pending business model, video providers can grant access to any and all video clips for 15 minutes (or however long feels appropriate) after one ad. When the 15 minutes expire, viewers are asked to watch another ad to "earn" access again. It's an explicit value exchange - your attention for content. The viewer is respected and is in control of the advertising while the limits of a linear TV model are lifted.

The viewers attention has to be recognized as the value in all advertising and be rewarded. Advertising pays for and is the reason we have access to almost all content. Yet the advertiser's return for graciously paying for us? Standards that limit commercial length, required skip buttons, disgruntled viewers who will do anything to avoid the ad.

Ultramercial turns this around 180 degrees and asks the viewer to make the choice: pay for the content with a minute of your time OR pull out your wallet like you would with HBO.

Ultramercial has been running this model with ads that last 54 seconds on average for over four years at Salon, Economist, Virgin Mobile, WildTangent and ABC. They receive the highest click through rates in the industry at 7% on average and 75% of all ads are completed start to finish. Each ad is full-screen, with two-way interactivity driving relevant product information to the viewer.

Behavioral targeting adds tremendous value to any campaign. But the key to marketing is building a brand and reputation to drive purchase intent through engagement and time spent. That's hard to do if everybody is blocking, skipping or ignoring your ad.

If you don't ask for the viewer's attention, you'll seldom get it.

Paul Grusche
Posted by groosh33 (4 comments )
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Ads on Portable Devices...
like Zune, and cell phones, is where the future action will be.

Gene from
Posted by ZuneChannel (17 comments )
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I don't want them, I don't need them
It's bad enough that inside and out of my own home, I'm constantly over-saturated with adds for the latest gimmic I just gotta have or I won't be cool like the other kids.

I want to see more white space, not more ingenious advertising paluting my website viewing experience.

I swear, if I need your fandangled product, I'll look in the appropriate stores or checkout your companies website product specs area.

Here are a couple of the joys imposed on me daily:

- TV/Radio (normal audible volume Ad spots). I'll concede these as they've been based on Ad funded business models since long before I was around.

- TV channel providers who broadcast the show at one volume and the comercials at several magnitudes of that volume. Because I need to watch a show with barely audible volume then wake everyone in the house when the comercial for feminin hygene products blasts out the speaker (CityTV comes to mind). More and More I'm watching my prefered TV shows on DVD by total season without Ads. I swear I'm not in the kitchen out of ear shot, I'm on a different channel watching the content while you waste my time with Ad spots on your channel.

- The walk to work includes three too four huge video screens blasting nothing but advertising spots. And that's on any inch of street side building space that can afford more than a static banner display. Because we should have to look at plain old architecture when we could mask building in Ad lepper spots.

- Anything online. Ads, Ads, Ads everywhere. Some sites keep the balance, enough adds to support a modest income while other sites go overboard with banners, popups and (now) video all of which I have to pay for by way of the bandwidth they take away from valid network transfers. (CNet, your close to saturation but that's the opinion of a humble viewer with nothing to gain monetarily)

- Phone Spam (cold calls) one landline and now increasingly on cell phones. On my landline, you waste my time and the call center staff's time. On my cellphone, you waste my time and your call centers AND I get to pay for the minutes it takes to get your call center off the phone (lovely script you've written for them by the way). If I want you service or product, I'll find you. That's what physical locations and well designed business presence websites are for.

You can be sure that imposing advertising on me through TV/Radio radio spots, Telephone Spam, Billboards/video screens (public spamming), email spamming and (when it comes) txt spamming outside of a valid location (your a tech company, your website will have tech specs and adds, your an online retailer, your website will have product adds and this is valid) rather than wherever you can polute my senses will convince me to review and consider your competitions product with a heck of alot more interest than yours.
Posted by jabbotts (492 comments )
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