Companies everywhere are bracing for a recession and in preparation, brands are closely evaluating their budgets. It’s common for advertising and marketing to be the first to go in a recession, but there are a few things brands should consider before jumping to cuts. 

A study by McGraw-Hill Research analyzed over 600 companies to compare those who continued to advertise during the 1982 recession against those who did not. The study found that those who continued advertising during the recession saw 256% higher sales post-recession. Companies that did not advertise during a recession saw no increase in market share and only an 18% increase in sales post-recession.

While budget cuts are inevitable with an economic downturn—in fact, one digital media exec told CNBC they expect to see a 20% advertising revenue cutback by year-end—there are ways to recession-proof your brand strategies to make the most of their advertising spend and continue reaching consumers.

Video will be stronger than other forms of advertising

We’ve known it’s true for years now, but it bears repeating. Video is one of the best ways to engage and educate consumers. eMarketer predicts that by the end of 2022, the number of digital video viewers in the US will reach 258 billion. On top of that, these 258 billion people will average 2 hours and 41 minutes consuming digital video.

As we saw during the height of the pandemic, consumers turn more and more to social media and digital content for entertainment, to stay connected with loved ones, and to educate themselves on current events during turbulent times. By continuing to deliver video ads, brands can ensure they’re making the most of their ad dollars by reaching consumers where they are spending the most time. 

Interactive video powers seamless consumer experiences

Interactive technology takes video a step further. By overlaying video with interactive elements, consumers are able to further explore the content and gather the information they need. 

Interactive videos also offer a frictionless commerce experience. Brands can link products in the video out to specific landing pages. So when a consumer sees an item they like in the ad, they can use the interactive element to click through to the product’s page for a smoother purchasing path. In some cases, interactive elements can even enable direct purchasing within the video. 

Unique engagement insights improve ROAS

Streamlining the consumer journey through interactive elements can significantly maximize the value of a brand’s ad spend, but it’s not the only way interactive technology improves video campaigns. The nature of interactive elements allows brands to derive insights from the organic actions taken by the consumer.

Brands can see what products consumers interact with the most, what scenes in a video drive more clicks, and, in some cases, even learn which retailers a consumer prefers. These insights drive powerful sequential messaging and add even more accountability to video ads. 

Economic downturns might force brands to tighten up their budgets, but it’s prime time to invest in video advertising and leverage interactive technology to better deliver a brand’s key messaging. Brands who continue investing in interactive video will not only stand out amongst competitors, but they’ll also deliver immersive consumer experiences, ultimately driving lift to their ROAS.

Ready to add interactive video to your brand strategy? Contact KERV today.

In this months spotlight series, KERV is celebrating Black History Month by focusing its attention on local Black business owners, content creators and entrepreneurs.

This week we’re also highlighting black women specifically, and are proud to introduce you to DJ Shani.

How did you get to this point?

Those are loaded, but great questions! I’ve owned a tax firm for the last 6 years and have been a DJ for the last 20. In 1999, I started a radio show on WLUW (Chicago).

It was always so odd to me that you had to be 21 to experience a specific type of music. The only way to add to the culture, whichever culture, is you have to start with those younger to keep it going. On my show I was the host, opening & closing DJ, sound engineer, producer, media person. I did EVERYTHING! It was also a way to showcase some of the lesser known amazing DJs to be heard throughout the city and later the world when we started the webcast. After living in Paris, Southern California and now Austin, I’ve maintained my connections with many of the guests and have subsequently performed with with them. (Ron Trent, DJ Heather, Derrick Carter, Les Nubians to name a few). Now living in Austin and with an influx of out-of-towners moving here, I realized there was a need for the specific kind of DEEP HOUSE that I play. Coming from the rave culture I recognized the tech-house following here is big, but also acknowledging my club culture background and meeting other other house music lovers, I knew we all wanted something different. I started my annual Black History Month event in 2015, UNITED. It started as a mashup of sorts: live bands then ending with DJs. Over the years, I fine-tuned it to only feature Black women DJs that played house music. It’s a very specific and unique demographic that needed a spotlight. Basically everything and anything I do is an extension of what I did at WLUW. I started two very unique residencies in 2019 (Halcyon “Freedom Fridays” and “Soul Review” (Saturdays at P6 at the Line Hotel). The Pandemic stopped both, but I’ve done a few Facebook & IG lives. I’ve been able to fall in love with my music again which is super exciting for me. Now I have the time to shut out the world and reconnect and that’s a very special place to be. 

I also started a tax firm. Hebert Tax Consulting came about after working in retail tax. I was an instructor, manager, tax professional for 7 years. I learned so much but when it leaked out that I was a DJ, other offices starting sending their ‘strange’ clients to whatever office I was managing. I discovered my niche: creatives that need their taxes filed. After the last office I managed was the number one revenue producing office in the entire district for 2 years in a row with limited staff, I realized that I figured it out and never looked back. I encourage anyone to start their own business if they have a vision, learn as much as you can about the industry that excites you and work hard! The hard work will pay off and you’ll be able to see the actual results in realtime.

What matters most to you?
I think what matters most to me is education. Not necessarily in the traditional sense like college or university, but in the sense of being curious enough to find out something that you’ve always wanted to know. Once you learn something it’s almost your responsibility to share your knowledge. It’s very important to me to represent women of color and the disabled in the music Industry and taxation. I know it might sound strange to have both held so dear to my heart but it’s important to be curious enough follow that curiosity and educate yourself. I’m very happy that my Curiosity led me to owning my two businesses and being relatively successful. It matters not if it’s graphic novels or investments or music production or being a real estate agent. All that matters is that curiosity will lead to education and if it’s something that you’re curious about you’ll have no problem studying, learning & reading for hours on end. I’d like to encourage everyone to tap into that curiosity, fill that cup and you’d be amazed at what comes of it.

Learn more about DJ Shani: djshani.comHebertTaxConsultingSoundCloud

In this months spotlight series, KERV is celebrating Black History Month by focusing its attention on local Black business owners, content creators and entrepreneurs. This week we’re proud to introduce you to Brandon Hunter of Roog, an app that generates exposure for minority-owned businesses.

Here is Brandon’s story on how Roog came to be:

How did you get to this point?
After losing my role at a tech startup, I decided to take some time off to regroup after realizing that I never really gave myself time to figure out who I am and what I wanted to do. The idea of Roog started when I was living in Harlem, New York back in 2016. I would visit several black owned businesses in Harlem (Branson Got Juice, Charles Pan Fried Chicken and Russ’ Barbershop) and I got a chance to learn more about their businesses and some of the challenges that they faced. As I engaged more businesses, I began to see many patterns socially and economically that put many minority business owners at a disadvantage in our competitive economy. When some of my favorite businesses started to close during Harlem’s gentrification, I began to notice the true effect these changes had on our communities and quickly realized that funding and investments were critical to keeping our businesses going.

From these experiences and observations, I began to draft and design a concept to build an app for businesses that struggle to sustain themselves during social and economic changes in their communities. While working with a few development companies on a design, I got into a masters program that focused on product innovation at the McCombs School of Business at UT. My UT classmates, staff and the Austin small business community played a pivotal role in helping us validate our market and initial product design for our users.

One year after graduating from UT with a Masters of Science in Technology Commercialization, we launched Roog on September 1, 2020 during the COVID pandemic.

What matters most to you?
What matters to us at Roog is building a platform that helps minority business owners amplify their brand and shoppers of all affinity groups to shop safely among small businesses in minority communities. We want our users to shop consciously and advocate for the growing support of small minority owned businesses in the communities we call home.

Check out the Roog website below, along with their Facebook and Instagram pages.

Learn more about Roog: WebsiteFacebookInstagram

In this months spotlight series, KERV is celebrating Black History Month by focusing it’s attention on local Black business owners, content creators and entrepreneurs. This week we’re proud to introduce you to Justin Roque of Third Coast Collective.

How did you get to this point?
2015 was a big year for me. I got engaged, got a new job with UT Athletics and on the brink of a move to Austin. It was a welcomed change, as I was feeling complacent in Houston and was in need of a new start. I’d always loved Austin; friends and I would make frequent trips during college. The culture was intriguing, much different from Houston. I was excited for the new beginning. Once I arrived and got settled in, my wife and I couldn’t stay in the house. Hiking, trying new restaurants, paddle-boarding (didn’t know this was a thing!). But one thing was strikingly clear, I was usually the only black person in the space. The more we went out, the more it became evident. Although Austin thrived on many fronts, it lacked in racial diversity and inclusion. Obviously, this was an issue, but I didn’t know how to tackle it or if I could. It took me awhile to find my footing in Austin.

It wasn’t until we took a trip to Oakland where it clicked for me. The friend who we were visiting took me to a function thrown by a local minority-operated collective. The setting was a gritty alley between buildings. The crowd, people from various walks of life and different disciplines. All coming together to exchange culture and tap into something bigger than themselves.

I was hooked. There, Third Coast Collective was born.

What matters most to you?
What matters the most is making an impact in my community. The mission of Third Coast Collective is to create inclusive spaces for minority professionals through diverse events. Inclusion sustains diversity. If people don’t feel like they belong at their work, where they live, or where they socialize…they’ll leave. I want to build that platform where people of color can feel safe enough to disengage and don’t feel they have to code-switch outside the office. I want to help facilitate a space where they can connect with like-minded people that look like them.

Learn more about Third Coast Collective: WebsiteInstagramLinkedIn

The sports industry represents the 11th largest industry in the United States with an estimated net worth of $750 billion, according to Forbes. There is no question that this industry has taken one of the hardest hits to revenue as a result of the pandemic. Forbes reports that the three major U.S. sports leagues may see sales fall by about $13 billion as teams continue to face monetary threats from empty stadiums, lack of tourism, sponsorship revenue as well as lower capacity operations.

The National Football League (NFL) alone is facing a deficit of $2.7 billion in revenue due to reduced fan attendance from COVID-19 regulations, and many big Super Bowl advertisers have opted out as sponsors for this year’s game. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has lost an estimated $694 million, and Major League Baseball (MLB) has missed out on $5.2 billion while reducing its regular season from 162 games per team to 60.

Changing the Game: Pandemic Rebound & Growth

In today’s sports world, traditional approaches to revenue have fallen short amidst the pandemic. Revenue recovery will depend on new strategies, including fan experience beyond the gate.

Luckily, digital video-solution alternatives for sports marketers can capitalize on revenue and growth in a new way. The NFL, together with Microsoft Surface, have already taken the lead and is launching an interactive digital activation for the month of February to reconnect with fans and monetize their content like never before.

Also, as fanbases continue to grow, especially online, the sports industry is presented with a unique opportunity to capitalize on new, virtual engagement strategies that will ultimately drive revenue growth while creating more personalized experiences.

Interactive Video: A League of its Own for Sports Marketers

Sports Marketers and brands alike are taking note of the new trend in digital marketing: interactive video. More than just shoppable, interactive video is great for brands and industries who also want to expand on communication efforts at a more granular and fluid level.

Essentially, each video is layered with patented, interactive technology that allows for each object within the video to be identified and “brought to life” with descriptions, images, gifs, internal or external links, purchase options and more. Interactive technology can increase video engagement upwards of 400%, setting a new bar in the digital world terms of consumer experience, understanding and insights, brand loyalty, industry innovation leadership, monetization avenues (sponsorships, shoppability, etc.) and much more.

Revenue Recovery Options within Interactive Video

  1. Virtual Video Sponsorships
    Interactivity provides ad and marketing slots on top of, or beside, videos that are contextually relevant and dynamic in the case of low ad or house inventory.  For example, if a fan is online watching an interactive video of a basketball game, companies can dynamically highlight a dunk where a sponsorship overlay can appear and transform as the video progresses.
  2. E-Commerce Monetization
    Interactive video can make any/all objects immediately shoppable – creating a revenue stream that did not previously exist. For example, online fans could see the option to click on and/or purchase a player’s jersey without being interrupted or having to leave the video experience. The data is driven by the video, with insights growing and driving personalization the longer the creative runs.

Fan Engagement Solutions within Interactive Video

  1. Convenience & Quality
    In a survey conducted by Salesforce, 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs. Furthermore, 56% of customers actively seek to buy from the most innovative companies (while expecting a great level of data protection and security). Interactive video is this decade’s solution for raising consumer expectations and trust.
  2. Enhanced Communication
    The advancement of interactive video has created a reality in which brands can more effectively communicate multiple messages to intended audiences in a way that sparks greater importance and builds awareness.

New Insights from Interactive Video

  1. Metadata & Analytics
    Many providers currently supply logo data from live games days after the games air. These metadata insights should be delivered in real-time so immediate optimizations and adjustments can be made to in-arena placements, etc.

Conclusion: Stepping Up To the Plate

The marriage of creativity with results-driven analytics and performance, is propelling data-driven video avenues forward. Major sports leagues will want more ownership of their content, as well as opportunities to monetize their content even more deeply (whether the content has a long shelf-life or not).

Sports marketers: the ball is in your hands. The time for digital innovation is now, so start by testing out interactive fan experiences.

KERV’s interactive content technology allows NFL fans to go deep into how the Microsoft Surface has transformed sideline innovation for the coaches, players and fans.

NFL and Microsoft, leaders in tech, innovation and storytelling, have partnered with KERV Interactive to produce “Sideline of the Future,” the first interactive branded content on allowing fans to engage with and purchase the Microsoft Surface directly from the branded content and to learn more about how technology has transformed the NFL’s communication and collaboration on the sidelines.

Since the partnership commenced in 2013, Microsoft Surface has become a vital tool for the NFL on and off the field, transforming everything from instant replay, game planning and the fan experience, to the NFL Draft and Scouting Combine. With more than 2,000 Surface devices and 170 Windows Servers deployed across 35 global stadiums, Microsoft technology powers 333 events each year for the NFL on game day.

Adapting to the increase in social & digital media content distribution and the necessity for virtual sponsorship activation , brands around the world are doubling down on innovative, digital options as their sports marketing solution.

Technology partner KERV Interactive, an award‑winning interactive video and data company based in Austin, Texas, excels at the intersection of e-commerce and content.  KERV’s patented technology powered the NFL and Microsoft Surface video with 25+ points of interactivity. The immersive 10‑minute long video utilizes KERV’s interactive technology to feature bonus information and behind‑the‑scenes exclusives, along with shoppability directly from the content in a format that provides a game-changing fan experience.

This is the first of its kind in major professional sports and sponsor activation.

KERV’s brand clients have historically seen upwards of 400% improvement in consumer engagement and purchases from their interactive videos as opposed to their normal static videos. KERV lives and thrives at the intersection of video and e-commerce,  – the future of shopping and consumer engagement.

Tech pioneer KERV Interactive helps venerable organization drive online donations to find a cure for breast cancer.

Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, has been fighting to finding a cure for breast cancer since 1982. Now, they can do that more effectively with the help of AI technology and innovative marketing strategies.

Facing fundraising challenges during the global pandemic, revenue through the Komen digital campaigns was even more critically important this year. KERV Interactive, a multi‑award‑winning video technology leader, in partnership with the strategic minds at Goodway Group, added interactivity and 40+ uniquely defined points of engagement to multiple Komen videos.

These interactive layers optimized the video ad’s capabilities, and drove awareness as well as monetization opportunities for qualified donors and targeted audiences. Digital fundraising, through interactive video, offered the charity an effective solution for staying on track to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the United States by 2026.

As a result, Komen significantly lowered its cost per donation, generating more than three times the donations compared to its non-interactive video campaigns.

Komen attributes over $110,000 in media-attributed revenue (with a nominal amount from duplications), from September to December 2020, to KERV’s interactive video technology.

Susan G. Komen Case Study

In December alone, the Cost Per Donation for interactive video was 16.6X stronger than non-interactive video. Not only did the video technology help Komen drive more donations, interactive video proved more efficient than non-interactive digital video at building a re-targeting pool and getting potential donors into the funnel.

World Cancer Day: February 4, 2021
If you would like to support Susan G. Komen in their fight against breast cancer, please visit their website here.

Interactive Video Inquiries

If you would like to inquire about interactive video services, reach out here and a KERV team member will get back to you shortly.

    Pioneering digital advertising firm honored for patented video technology

    KERV Interactive, a recognized technology company specializing in visual IR driven interactive video for brands, has won a prestigious Digiday Modern Retail Awards in the category of “Best Use of Video” for its work with Zulily, an American e-commerce company that sells apparel, footwear, toys and home products for the whole family. KERV also was a finalist in the “Best E-Commerce Experience” category.

    KERV helps brands transform their video assets into fully interactive storefronts (with pixel-level customization), targeted and full of shoppable information that both enhances usefulness and commerce opportunities. KERV’s custom, dynamic interactive ad technology increases a video’s consumer engagement, boosts shoppability by over five times, generates more time spent with content assets and increases interactions – such as QR scans – by over 50 percent.

    The Digiday Modern Retail Awards recognizes companies that are making it through the pandemic by focusing on customer-focused experiences, even when it means swiftly pivoting campaigns and product strategies to accommodate new consumer behaviors. KERV began working with online retailer Zulily to enhance a “Joy of Shopping” campaign and uniquely identified 25+ interactive objects for users to individually shop based upon product-specific interest. Click-through rate (CTR) and engagement levels were vastly increased, resulting in thousands of new-user sign ups on the Zulily website.

    “We are thrilled and grateful to win a Digiday Modern Retail Award,” notes Marika Roque, COO of KERV Interactive. “This prestigious recognition validates the hard work and devotion of our team members. It’s also great to earn this with Zulily, who has been a wonderful and forward-thinking partner.”

    Activision and KERV named finalists for creative, interactive experiences in assorted Call of Duty video campaigns

    Activision, together with patented video platform, KERV Interactive, lifted its assorted Call of Duty: Modern Warfare video campaigns to become interactive, educational and exploratory experiences for a variety of existing and net-new consumers. The companies were named finalists for “Best Use of Video” in this year’s Digiday Awards for maintaining growth-oriented mindsets and launching innovative campaigns that create new ways to reach consumers. 

    The incredible gaming brand was able to expand its digital horizons through a series of five interactive videos that catered to different audience segments of interest. Cutting-edge, interactive technology was used to engage and further educate these user groups to increase awareness of the game, its contents, download frequency of additional game content as well as maximize exposure to drive the number of active players up to new heights. 

    With KERV, Activision was able to distribute millions of unique video impressions that drove click-to-site rates up 12x above industry standard, drove interaction rates 160x above industry standard, increased user engagement and more than double the time spent interacting with the brand. The data-driven video campaigns were delivered programmatically via desktop, mobile and tablet devices, and provided an immersive experience for users to learn more about the game including new modes, weapons, vehicles, operators and more using object-level identification techniques. 

    KERV’s technology allows every object, in any video, to be uniquely identified, assigned text, call-to-action (CTA), URL destinations and produces unique groups of audiences for sequential targeting strategies. KERV’s interactive products increased the video engagement opportunities by 3,200%-8,100% while creating 81 unique click-through opportunities for objects featured. Additionally, object-level, pixel-edge, image recognition and categorization, along with 20+ action-based metrics, provided actionable insights around how each audience engaged with the brand’s creative.

    “We are grateful to be finalists in this year’s Digiday Awards for our work with Activision,” said Marika Roque, COO at KERV Interactive. “Providing experiential video solutions for iconic entertainment brands such as Activision, and its Call of Duty franchise that just surpassed $3 billion in net bookings this year, speaks to the power of interactive storytelling. Thank you for recognizing the work we continue to do at KERV Interactive.”

    To learn more, please contact Jeannine Jacobi of Fresh PR at 323-903-7063 or, or visit

    About KERV Interactive

    Based in Austin, Texas, KERV Interactive is the world’s most advanced interactive content and data company and is revolutionizing the future of video engagement through dimensional storytelling. KERV’s digital advertising platform was built on cutting-edge, patented technology and adds extraordinary value to brands, agencies, and creative and data-science teams by creating audience-to-brand connections within video like never before. Leveraging breakthrough machine learning techniques and AI with unmatched processing speed, the KERV technology recognizes depth, dimension, and objects within a video just as precisely as the natural eye. KERV enables every frame in every scene of any digital video to be an immersive, interactive experience for consumers. 

    Interactive video ads help nonprofit breast cancer organization increase online donations in the face of COVID-19 pandemic

    Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, partnered with multi-award-winning video technology company KERV Interactive to drive donations and education through a series of online video ads during this year’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By utilizing the interactive video activations, Komen was able to significantly lower its cost per donation, generating more than three times the donations compared to its non-interactive video campaigns. 

    Driving revenue through the organization’s digital campaigns was critically important this year, as Komen, like many nonprofits, faced fundraising challenges from election year headwinds and limitations of traditional peer-to-peer fundraising programs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  KERV added interactivity, and more than 40 uniquely defined points of engagement, to two existing Komen videos with more in the queue for December. This interactive layer optimized the video ad’s capabilities by including website-like efficiencies that drove awareness and monetization opportunities for qualified donors and targeted audiences.

    On top of direct donation paths within the video experience, viewers gained more convenient access to vital information, facts and statistics with links to risk assessment tools, early detection resources, information about treatment, support and more. Using interactive video to enhance the organization’s storytelling proved successful and yielded sizable donations.

    Not only did KERV help Komen drive more donations, the tech pioneers also garnered more than a 100% month over month increase to the campaign’s video advertising click-through-rate (CTR) and interactivity. The campaign has already generated over 20,000 interactions and over 5,000 object-level engagements with upcoming months projected to perform even stronger as action-based connected TV (CTV) is incorporated into the mix. Additionally, KERV’s sequential, interaction-based retargeting strategies that are already running have averaged nearly a 6% CTR and over a 50% interaction rate.

    “As 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime and more than 42,000 are expected to die each year, we must continue to be innovative to raise the funds needed to save lives from breast cancer,” said Michelle Strong, vice president of marketing strategy at Susan G. Komen. “Thanks to the help of partners like KERV Interactive, we are able to continue our education and fundraising initiatives that support breakthrough research, advocacy, and lifesaving support for people facing breast cancer today.”

    “It is truly rewarding to have our technology make a monumental impact in the fight against breast cancer,” said Marika Roque, COO of KERV Interactive. “KERV is revolutionizing the interactive and online video space with patented, data-driven techniques that are proven to be successful for many brands across multiple verticals. We look forward to continuing to push the digital marketing industry forward and play a significant role in helping brands and agencies reach their performance marketing goals.”

    To learn more, please contact Jeannine Jacobi of Fresh PR at 323-903-7063 or, or visit

    About KERV Interactive

    Based in Austin, Texas, KERV Interactive is the world’s most advanced interactive content and data company and is revolutionizing the future of video engagement through dimensional storytelling. KERV’s digital advertising platform was built on cutting-edge, patented technology and adds extraordinary value to brands, agencies, and creative and data-science teams by creating audience-to-brand connections within video like never before. Leveraging breakthrough machine learning techniques and AI with unmatched processing speed, the KERV technology recognizes depth, dimension, and objects within a video just as precisely as the natural eye. KERV enables every frame in every scene of any digital video to be an immersive, interactive experience for consumers.

    KERV Sizzle Reel