Monday, November 3, 2008

Video Ads Are Now DIY

A few days ago I stumbled on a mention of Jivox, which immediately sounded like AdReady, but for video ads instead of display. Looking at the site, I think my initial assessment was right, and that SMBs may be delighted to discover it just in time for holiday advertising. According to their site, their ad network consists of “over 600 premium - branded local television, newspaper, radio and weather related sites as well as some national brand sites and portals.” I see one of the major news sites in Boston on their list and others whose name I recognize, so the network looks credible.

The business was launched in March 2008 with venture funding and presumably is still in Beta, although they don’t make an issue of that. It allows users to create their own video ad or to run an existing video ad on their network. They describe it as a simple three-step process. Creating the ad is free, or they can arrange production. Let them explain the pricing in their own words as stated on their FAQs:

I thought the service was free? Why am I being asked for credit card information? There's absolutely no cost associated with creating your ads with Jivox. A conventionally produced ad for local television can cost $10,000 to $30,000, but you pay nothing for ads created with our revolutionary AdSlate technology. We charge you only for the advertising itself: running it on the sites in the Jivox network. Once you've create one or more video ads, you set your daily, weekly or monthly ad budget to place it on the Jivox network. Jivox will automatically match your ads with the audience that is most likely to respond favorably to your campaign. In addition, once you have a live campaign, we provide automatic upload to YouTube and to local search providers such as Google Maps and GetFave, free of charge.

The ads are created with an embed link so the customer can put them on a website, blog, etc., so they can do double or even triple duty.

There’s a gallery of ads and a page of case histories. These ads probably aren’t going to win creative awards any time soon, but a video ad could be a real breakthrough for a small local business like the B&B mentioned in a WSJ article about Jivox.

From the standpoint of both advertisers and publishers who accept the ads, this is another in a step toward making rich media advertising available to even the smallest local business in a way that makes economic sense. It’s also a way for publishers to monetize their sites, at least if the sites are advertising appropriate, as a lot of social media are not. That said, it puts a lot more pressure on the free content/advertising supported business model. Can that model carry the weight for publishers of content? That remains to be seen!

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