Friday, March 28, 2008

Advertisers try the soft sell as TV drifts online

Go to Financial Times original
Sometime in the next few weeks, visitors to Hulu, the online video site jointly owned by NBC Universal and News Corp, will be able to do something that television viewers would never have imagined just a few years ago: choose their own advertising.

When, for example, an advertisement sponsored by a carmaker pops up, viewers might be asked to click on a sports car, a pick-up truck or a family sedan, depending on their preference, and watch a corresponding message. (Skipping past, unfortunately, is not an option.)

“It’s choose-your-own-adventure advertising,” says Jean-Paul Colaco, Hulu’s senior vice-president of advertising, who is hoping to reduce the friction between audiences and marketers by making advertisements less intrusive for the former and more efficient for the latter.

The Ad Selector, as Hulu calls it, is just one example of a burst of innovation in online advertising. As audiences increasingly move to the web to consume video – be it full-length television episodes or short clips – media companies and advertising agencies are rushing to develop new and more effective advertising strategies in the hope of creating a profitable business.

They are eager to harness the interactive possibilities that differentiate the internet from the more passive experience of traditional television. In a marketer’s dream scenario, consumers who see a message for a product that interests them might pause a video, click through to a website and even make a purchase.


No comments: