WebTV Networks Launches “Click-To-Video” Ads

WebTV Networks Inc. launched what it calls Click-To-Video ads, a service that allows advertisers to leverage both television and online media.

Click-To-Video ads allow subscribers to the WebTV Network to select a banner ad and then view a full-screen, full-motion video TV commercial before arriving at the advertiser’s Web site. Advertisers can thus integrate their online and television campaigns.

Advertisers can submit their existing banner ads and television commercials to WebTV Networks, where they are integrated into an advertising product that leverages the targeting capabilities of the Web with the full-screen impact of television, the company said. Subscribers immediately view the television commercial after selecting the banner ad, with no waiting required to download the video.

“Click-To-Video ads are the latest example of how we’re bringing together the best of the Web and television to define the future of advertising,” said Joe Poletto, vice president of advertising sales and strategic partnerships at WebTV Networks. “Advertisers. . .benefit by reaching an audience inaccessible to them through any other medium–the audience is interactive, new to the online world and shares the WebTV experience with families and friends in the comfort of their living rooms.”

Advertisers already using the Click-To-Video service include E! Online, Carter-Wallace, Ford Motor Co., Hewlett-Packard Co., Maytag, Ragu, Rebecca’s Garden, Ricola Ltd. and Volvo Cars of North America Inc.

WebTV Networks also offers other types of banner ads, including Topical Spots, which run within the Explore directory of the WebTV service, and Surf Spots, which appear between Web sites during a subscriber’s Internet surfing experience. WebTV Networks also offers Video Spots, which are broadcast-quality, full- screen 15- or 30-second spots that air while viewers connect to the WebTV service.

WebTV Networks claims more than half a million subscribers.

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