VivaKi Adds Partners to Lane Two of The Pool

VivaKi has added a handful of new marketing partners to the latest project from its “Pool” initiative, a research effort to discover the online video unit of the future.

The first phase of The Pool — or in VivaKi parlance, Lane One — dealt with long-form video. That phase has been completed, though VivaKi will not reveal the findings until February of next year. The Lane 2 effort was launched earlier this year, with results also to be shared in 2010.

The Pool is shorthand for “pooling resources,” according to VivaKi, which is a unit of Publicis Groupe created to leverage that holding company’s media properties. Executives from Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia, Moxie Interactive and Digitas have been collaborating with marketers and publishers to test various video solutions to determine which are the most effective and engaging.

The new partners are Denny’s, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Warner Bros., YouTube and YuMe. They join a list that already includes Bank of America, General Mills, AOL, CBS Interactive and Microsoft Publishing.

“Lane 2 is a testament to collaboration and guiding our clients and partners to focus on engagement models that are consumer led,” VivaKi Nerve Center President Curt Hecht said in a written statement announcing Lane 2 in July. “We have increased the number of partners based on internal demand at VivaKi and also the number of media companies in both returning partners as well as new ones which brings more diversity to the types of companies participating.”

Although it is unclear just what The Pool is testing, statements by executives involved in the effort suggest it is neither pre-roll nor overlay advertising. “I feel confident that we are going to find an ad model that beats pre-roll,” said Tracey Scheppach, SVP, video innovations director at Starcom MediaVest Group, at an OMMA video conference last month.

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