Viewpoint Tempts Video Buyers With Promo

Viewpoint Corporation plans to introduce a program today in which A-list marketers agree to run online video ads using only its proprietary units, in exchange for detailed effectiveness research. The firm, which recently acquired Unicast, is presenting the idea as a way for advertisers to analyze video advertising within various formats, including transitional, pre-roll and in-page.

For the promotion, called “All Things Video,” ten advertisers will pay Viewpoint $200,000 a piece to deploy and thoroughly test video spots in its three basic format types. That sum includes the cost of media, which advertisers must buy from participating publishers. As part of the package, Viewpoint promises to compare the effectiveness of those formats, and help advertisers find the best mix of ad units for their campaigns.

Viewpoint will name four participating advertisers today. They are Hyundai, Microsoft Office, Pepsi and 20th Century Fox. Publishers taking part so far include AOL, About.com and ESPN. Ultimately, the company expects to include approximately nine advertisers and 14 publishers or publisher networks. The program will run for a month, from February 28 through early April.

Participating clients will have their online video units consolidated under Viewpoint’s formats, and will get effectiveness metrics from both Viewpoint and Dynamic Logic. Viewpoint’s metrics will compare online video formats against one another. Dynamic Logic will handle effectiveness research comparing the campaign’s performance against other media.

“It gives advertisers, agencies and sites the chance to have early experience using multiple formats, comparing them against each other and comparing them against traditional media performance,” said Viewpoint Senior VP Allie Savarino. “It allows us to step back and say, we’re much less concerned about pushing a specific format.”

As beneficent as that sounds, Viewpoint certainly has competitive interests at heart. Lately, several rich media vendors have been offering special deals and creative packaging of their units. PointRoll spent much of the last year steadily expanding its “included” network of publishers offering its formats at a discount. And video specialist Klipmart is now offering its full-screen video capabilities at no extra charge.

Savarino said yes, advertisers may wish to drop video ad formats offered by its competitors in order to take part in the “All Things Video” promotion.

Viewpoint’s transitional ads are a re-branded version of Unicast’s Superstitial units, launched in January after the companies completed their integration.

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