AnswersMedia Switches Sponsors in Health Video Show Backdrops

Morphing brand logos on reality show sets or behind home plate are seen more and more on TV, and now AnswersMedia is applying the concept to its multimedia video content. The media producer will enable interchangeable ad placements within the stage sets of its private label AnswersTV programming, starting with health content due to launch in July.

Sleep drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has signed on as the exclusive one-year sponsor of sleep-related programs from the original HealthAnswersTV series, “The Answered Patient.” The series, which covers condition-specific topics such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, is hosted by TV anchor Jane Hanson. The show set has pillars and back panels that can be superimposed with brand images using AnswersMedia’s green screen-like technology. University of Chicago Hospitals is also a health content sponsor.

Embedded ads, bug overlays, and display ads placed alongside video content will be available to advertisers. Ads will be sold on a CPM basis by either AnswersMedia or its distribution partners, according to AnswersMedia founder and CEO Jeff Bohnson. The company will also allow advertisers to feature advertorial content shown in conjunction with the editorial video.

Though the firm will offer pre-roll video advertising, Bohnson isn’t pushing the option. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to create a very positive viewing experience,” he said. “Our research has shown pre-roll ads are a [deterrent] to watching the actual content.”

Advertisers like Takeda will brand content across all media and syndication partners of the programs for the duration of their sponsorships. In addition to its own upcoming site, AnswersMedia video will be syndicated on a private-label basis to Comcast video on demand and Web sites including RealAge. The firm has also signed a deal to distribute its shows on newspaper sites.

According to Bohnson, the firm is in talks with other syndication partners including The New York Times Company’s About, a publisher that has placed much emphasis on building out its health content over the past year. About already agreed to feature AnswersMedia’s food-related video programming, added Bohnson.

The video content is tagged for search engine optimization, said Bohnson, which can be important for health-related content, since users typically go to search engines when seeking out health information. According to an October 2006 Pew Internet and American Life Project report, eighty percent of U.S. Web users have searched for health related subjects including specific diseases, medical treatments, nutrition and fitness.

In addition to the 38 30-minute “Answered Patient” shows, the company is also offering a daily series called “The Health Reporters,” featuring consumer health news. Future content will cover lifestyle-related subjects that might include garden, pets, college or jewelry.

“You name it; we’ve registered it,” said Bohnson, alluding to all the AnswersTV-related domain names the firm has reserved for possible use.

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