While there's plenty of evidence that brands are embracing online video as a new and powerful medium for advertising, the overwhelming majority of video ads are still created for television–that is to say, they're created as a one-size-fits all solution. A brand makes a commercial, and we all see that same spot no matter who or where we are. With a killer new technology, Eyeview is hoping to change all that and bring video ads into the digital age by dynamically serving up different versions of ads for different audiences.
If you've ever dabbled in SEO or PPC marketing, you know the power in tailoring your ads to specific audience groups–at least, I hope you do. Young professionals in Chicago are more likely to respond to an ad that speaks directly to young professionals in Chicago than they are to a blanket commercial that simply shouts at everyone all at once.
Eyeview's technology serves up unique ads, on the fly, that are altered to speak to the specific audience. For instance, an ad for a travel site might end with actual discounted fares out of BNA if I'm watching it, but different deals for different fares out of LAX for someone viewing the ad from Los Angeles.
Display ads have been doing this for years–detecting your location through an IP address and serving banner ads specifically created for your area. But translating that kind of adaptive system to video is trickier, mostly because it's incredibly expensive to create thousands of versions of high quality ads.
Eyeview's technology is, you might have guessed, mostly a post-production service that takes a produced video ad and adds dynamic video compositions that are generated in real time–all without compromising the broadcast-quality brands want in an ad. Eyeview's technology is not Flash-based, which means it's capable of running on any video player across any ad-server.
Some of the demographic customization options for brands include:
- Local Prices & Deals
- Time & Date
- Behavioral Information
I had a chance to chat with Tal Riesenfeld, the VP of Business Development, and he showed me some demos that really wowed me. For instance, in one spot for a Home Improvement company, the ad could be tailored to the local weather of the person watching it, so that someone in Seattle actually sees the same commercial as someone in a sunny locale, only with dark clouds and rain added to the scene. It looks pretty seamless, too.
In fact, rather than just tell you about it, why don't you take a look:
Weather is far from the only localization option that makes sense for advertisers. Take this sample of an American Idol spot that changes based on date, time, and the viewer's local Fox affiliate:
There will surely be more competitors cropping up in this space as we move forward, but Eyeview appears to have beaten them all to the punch. The company already has partnerships with some of the major ad networks, like AOL, allowing brands to opt into the dynamic video ad system at the beginning of the ad buy. And according to this Business Insider article, they've already run campaigns for Johnson & Johnson and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
Oh, and ex-Google CEO, Eric Schmidt's venture fund has just made a sizable investment in Eyeview as well. Not too shabby.
It's obvious how huge this kind of technology could be for online video ads. Brands want to serve up the highest quality ads possible, but they also want to speak as directly to their potential customers as possible, and iit's been virtually impossible to do both at once. With technology like what Eyeview has developed, advertisers can now have their cake and eat it too.