Google Invests in ‘In-Photo’ Ad Firm Pixazza

pixazza.jpgPhoto-based ad network Pixazza has secured backing from Google as part of a $5.75 funding round involving several investors, CNET and others reported this week.

The start-up is developing a platform that harkens to the fabled “Jennifer Aniston’s Sweater” scenario for commerce-enabled television. Except that instead of TV, Pixazza is enhancing online photos with product information.

The company’s system will require no additional ad real estate from publishers, who can use it add a layer of commerce to its photos. Consumers can then mouse over an image to navigate products.

From the media seller’s perspective, it’s conceptually similar to in-text advertising. On the buy side, Pixazza claims to be integrated with 60 merchants representing 2 million products — possibly through their affiliate programs. Merchants include Zappos and Amazon.

Companies such as DoubleClick, United Virtualities and VideoClix.tv have sought to develop such enhanced product placement technologies for video, but few have done so for simple photographs. NBC and Hasbro are among the advertisers to have experimented with the video variety.

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