Eyeblaster updated its rich media platform today, with added capabilities that include an in-page "VideoStrip" ad format.
As a page loads, the VideoStrip shows a slice of video footage within the banner frame. A click or roll-over action causes the movie to expand beyond the banner frame and play at full-size, with sound. The video starts as soon as the page loads, and play is not interrupted or re-started when the user expands the banner.
Eyeblaster execs hope the unit will appeal to media buyers who are frustrated by a lack of pre-roll and interstitial inventory, but shy of tiny banner sizes.
"Everybody's using the banner now because that's where the inventory is," said CEO Gal Trifon.
The new unit is best suited to horizontal banners that are commonly displayed at the top of a publisher's site. That's because the aspect ratio of standard video is wider than it is tall. A vertical banner would interfere more with content as the unit juts into the center of the screen. Eyeblaster's demo for the VideoStrip appears in a horizontal 725 x 90 unit.
Trifon is on a "kind of a road show" promoting the unit and platform to advertisers and publishers. He said many publishers and advertisers have already agreed to use the VideoStrip. "Every agency we met with was willing to experiment, and that's a very encouraging sign," he said. Eyeblaster's agency relationships include Starcom IP, Deep Focus, and Organic.
Version 5.8 of the Eyeblaster platform will also include enhancements to cross-format functionality, process workflow, and reporting. The company is also improving its ability to let customers target ads based on users' previous interactions with their ads.
Eyeblaster last week reported a 60 percent increase in campaigns during 2004, and a 181 percent boost in impressions. Trifon said the company has recently beefed up its investment in R&D, and is hiring aggressively this month. He said, "Our recruitment effort is directed exclusively to products we don't yet sell."
Klipmart also offers an expandable in-banner video unit.
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
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