Paramount Pictures will soon try out dynamic advertising in a Video on Demand (VOD) environment, courtesy of regional broadband network Sunflower Broadband. The campaign will be among the first to let an advertiser switch ad creative on the fly rather than having it stuck to content for weeks at a time.
A partnership between Sunflower, VOD ad serving firm SeaChange International and aQuantive’s Atlas On Demand allows advertisers to dynamically target, optimize and track VOD spots. Through agency Mediaedge:cia, “jackass number two,” a Paramount Pictures and MTV Films production, will be the first national advertiser to run the changeable ads.
“Once they bake and encode [VOD] ads into the programming, advertisers cannot change those out for four to five weeks on average,” asserted Atlas SVP, GM, Scott Ferris. Under such “frustrating” circumstances, he explained, “advertisers can only get measurement of the entire asset,” including the video content itself.
Atlas is linked to the campaign through Mediaedge:cia, which employs Atlas’s ad management and reporting system for its advertisers. The Atlas On Demand technology will allow Paramount to track brand exposure duration and engagement, ad impressions and reach, as well as customized data.
The campaign marks the trial launch of Sunflower’s dynamic targeting offering to national advertisers. The film ads will run through the end of September, according to Sunflower Broadband’s Programming Manager Andrea Pritchard. Sunflower uses SeaChange’s AdPulse On Demand system to enable ad insertion before video assets are played. For now, the ads are targeted by content, though Pritchard expects Sunflower to offer geographic targeting sometime in the future.
“Paramount is interested in seeing what kind of data they can track… how everything is performing,” suggested Pritchard, noting that the Sunflower is focused on “working on trying to pull in some other national programmers into the trial.”
At this point, only Viacom’s free Comedy Central On Demand content will include the dynamically-inserted spots. Sunflower also offers content from providers including Oxygen Media and the Scripps Network’s Food Network. Approximately half of Sunflower’s 30,000 subscribers, all located in and around Lawrence and Kansas City, Kansas, will be targeted with the dynamically-served ads, noted Pritchard. The VOD firm has offered dynamically-targeted ads, including some long-form advertorial programming, to local Kansas advertisers since June.
Since July of last year, Atlas has announced partnerships with three other VOD technology firms in addition to SeaChange, including C-Cor, Tandberg Television and Everstream. As of yet, none of those relationships has resulted in actual advertiser campaigns like the Paramount effort.
The dynamic VOD ads, commented Atlas’s Ferris, represent “a shift in the media ecosystem.” Such shifts, he added, “tend to engender inertia in these large [media] companies…. However, there’s a greater impetus to this because of the tremendous shift in viewer behavior from linear to non linear television.”
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