As the Internet became a viable new media, banner advertising emerged as an effective way to monetize it. It was a simple concept – very much like
posting billboards all over a city. But the reality quickly evolved to a point where banner ads were largely ignored by users. Most banner advertising had become very annoying (especially the pop-ups and enlarging ads you get when you visited a page) and required you to manually close them. Worse yet, despite the capability of this powerful new media to target users with specific, customized information, many banner ads were placed on pages totally unrelated to the ad itself. Despite the advent of all kinds of software to fight them, users have developed what became known as “banner blindness”. As a result, innovative advertising was required to get back the attention of users along with their engagement.
One such method is video. Video has become one of the leading drivers of online ad growth (eMarketer), mostly due to its high engagement and open rates. Projections are for a 10.5% increase in US online ad spending for 2011, followed by double-digit growth every year through 2014 when spending should reach $40.5 billion. Video advertisements received CTR (click through ratios) that can be as high as 10-50x greater than a typical banner and conversion rates up to 10x greater (John Ferber of Video Affiliate Network) than regular static banner ads.
But there still seems to be something missing from both banners and
video. Not any longer. Say hello to a new company, Webshoz (“Web shows”) which is taking video and banner advertising to a whole new level using a focused, multiple purpose onscreen “Videobar” with several video choices that viewers can roll-over to play and click on demand.
CEO Alexandrea Day and Sales Director Frank Rocco recently gave us a
preview of this new capability. Briefly, the company has developed an innovative
new combination of an interactive banner ad with multiple videos allowing national branding and local sales leads, all in the same ad unit.
Their “Heads & Tails Videobar®” provides video previews from the Head side (National Advertiser’s videos) to its Tail (local dealers, agents or location’s videos) utilizing built-in Videobar® smart targeting technology. This allows the videos to be delivered for local dealers, agents or franchisee’s in a fraction of a second. But it gets even better – the company can provide even more targeted information to the user in the local video area that actually matches the user’s IP
address. Here is what a generic footprint looks like:
As an example, an insurance company like Allstate can feature several types of insurance products in the first video, client testimonials in the middle slot, and a video for each local franchise/agent in the “tail” window, rotated into the slot based upon the IP address of the user. Here is an example of what their Videobar® might look like:
But what you are seeing above is just a static banner illustration and not a true, active Videobar®. CLICK HERE to see a real Videobar® at Work…..
The technology also has a neat feature which is their roll-over play-in-place preview that increases consumer engagement and viewing time. The videos start when you mouse-over them, and stop when you mouse-off, keeping their place in the video to pick up where the user left off when rolled-over again.
A product like this opens up huge potential for several industry segments and especially CMR’s that work with national advertiser franchisee/dealer networks. Now they have a tool to provide a consistent national branding message, while featuring their local dealers/franchisees videos. Both the local and national
parts could tie the videos with daily deals and all three videos can be linked
to separate URLs to buy immediately or to print coupons. Even click to call features can be plugged right into the Videobar®.
A second version of this technology is their Videobar® that accommodates multiple videos from multiple merchants simultaneously. One such format is the scrolling Videobar®.
For a live example, click here to see a scrolling Videobar® in action. This type of application is perfect for any publisher who wants to showcase merchant videos that are buried in profile pages, rarely seen. The Videobar® is smart and delivers relevant videos based upon category, keyword and/or location.
Finally, the Videobar® can be used to syndicate any video content in a small form factor across the web. Another new product in the lineup is the “Direct Deals” Videobar® which allows merchants to offer their own deals, charging for ad placement inside the Videobar® instead of taking any of the deal sale. Webshoz fully supports collection of funds from buyers and deposits the
money directly into the merchant’s bank account. Considering the strength of video for deals and the business model to help merchants make money, it expects significant uptake of this new product.
The numbers: 3-9% of those exposed to the Videobar® (an impression) watch the videos for :15 – :25 seconds. 10% of those who have watched, click
through. The cost for a Videobar® ranges from $2-$7 CPM depending upon the size of the placement. If the advertiser doesn’t have local videos, Webshoz can produce professional videos at the lowest industry cost (from $99 for a montage ad with existing images to $1,500 for an on-site shoot with HDTV quality).
Webshoz was launched just 15 months ago with angel funding and has a patent pending on its technology. CEO Alexandrea Day has been involved in online video advertising for the last 7 years, including the launch of an online live
streaming video solution. Frank Rocco has been in the video advertising
industry for 25 years including U.S. and overseas agency experience with Leo
Burnett and McCann-Erickson (New York & London).