Eco Chat with GE and Governator Streams Live in Video Banner Ad

While online video is all the rage for advertisers, recently General Electric teamed up with PointRoll and Akamai to raise the bar and provide live streaming video directly to banner ads running on several major portals.

The event, broadcast live last Thursday at Universal Studios in Hollywood as part of the second anniversary of GE’s Ecomagination initiative, consisted of an hour-long moderated discussion between GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. As the two discussed environmental issues and how they are addressed by both business and government, video of their conversation was streamed to banner ads on AOL, Yahoo and MSN.

GE and its agency Stinson Partners, worked with Akamai and PointRoll for the past four months to combine Akamai Live Streaming in the Adobe Flash FLV (Flash 8) format with PointRoll’s rich media capabilities to prepare the live streaming banner format.

“We were responsible for the rich media component, the deployment of the ad unit, the tracking, the metrics and all the scalability in the creative itself,” said Christian Spinillo, product development strategist for PointRoll. “PointRoll put in place all the mechanisms to deal with any contingencies that arose. In case the server went down, or if Arnold was late — which he was.”

Spinillo said the Ecomagination banner ad saw between four to seven second delay, and mentioned that by placing the video directly into a banner ad using Flash technology, there’s no need for viewers to install or use a specific video player.

“Typically with a player you are catering to a specific audience with a specific player. But delivering it in an ad unit you are using Flash 8, and it’s also extending your reach,” he said. “It’s great brand exposure because it’s showing your technological prowess.”

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