Rummaging around the old Internet I found out that Google is teaming up with Tangozebra founder James booth to boost viewer engagement with video ads. His new company is called Rockabox and it's helping Google's DoubleClick to create what's called Rockabox Shutters format.Shutters is a standalone video player that will incorporate and display other creative along with the video content. The name, Shutters, comes from interactive panels around the video content which will host display ads, branding, widgets, special offer and more. It will even have a special display version for mobile phones.
The whole point is that they'll build other interactive factors into the video players. Sure that might not actually be considered video advertising by many but it will certainly increase the "engagability" and interactivity for many brands. It means that while a video ad is playing other elements can be displayed. Perhaps detract from the video's message or perhaps they will increase engagement levels. Time will tell of course.
With the inclusion of widgets and social elements it seems like it could certainly help viral spread of some videos or at least make it easier to share with friends and family etc. That's another added bonus that could help consumers engage with brands they love.
Rockabox is already hard at work getting brands on board and trying to find publishers and media owners to implement the technology. There's an initial license fee to "boost publisher revenues" and DoubleClick will sell it packaged with other services and technology they offer.
The ability to have multiple call-to-action layers and content should draw in a fair amount of clients across several areas including perhaps non-profits and advocacy groups along with consumer brands and B2B services. It's certainly not a new idea, but a new way to implement it which might just work. I look forward to hearing more about how they're going to do this and I have an email in to Rockabox to see if James Booth will grace us with his presence for an interview.