At the 2023 IAB NewFronts event Tuesday, NBCUniversal revealed four new ad formats for brands to expand their advertising reach with Peacock Premium subscribers, including AI-powered shoppable ads, among others.

The company also announced two new original films set to arrive soon on the streaming service.

The first ad format that grabbed our attention was Must ShopTV, which allows viewers to buy products that appear in Peacock content. For instance, the knives and cutting boards featured in “Top Chef.”

The capability is powered by KERV Interactive and utilizes an algorithm trained to identify shoppable products. A QR code will then appear on the TV screen, and viewers can engage with the prompt via their mobile device to then purchase the item.

In the future, viewers can shop via their TV remote, the company told TechCrunch.

NBCU initially introduced Must ShopTV during its ad-tech-focused showcase, One23, in February. It’s now officially available for marketers, the company announced Tuesday.

Roku has a similar shoppable ad format; however, Roku’s shoppable ads are presented as an overlay to an existing ad. The company launched the ads last June as a partnership with Walmart.

Peacock’s Must ShopTV ads are within the show itself, letting the viewers choose to opt out of the shopping experience.

Spotlight+ is another new ad solution that gives a brand the first impression across Peacock, Fandango and NBCU’s partner sites, which include Snap and Apple News, among others, the company told us. On the same day, the brand gets the Prime Pod or first ad position across broadcast and cable. The Prime Pod is a 60-second segment that appears in the first or last ad break of a primetime show.

Spotlight+ enables advertisers to target audiences regardless of where they are or if they’re watching Peacock originals or titles from a third-party digital partner.

The new solution is a step up from Peacock’s Spotlight ad format, which lets marketers own the first impression across all platforms and streaming devices over a 24-hour period.

Three years after Peacock introduced its Pause ads, the streamer is launching Power Break, data-informed Pause ads that can be personalized to fit a brand’s message — custom colors, language and more. Pause ads take over the whole screen of a viewer’s device when they pause a show.

Another new ad format on the streamer is Marquee, which is built for the live sports offering. Marquee ads have existed in linear form since 2012, however, it’s now available on the NBCU-owned streaming service for the first time. The brand logo can be placed on the scoreboard during a live game or on the lower left or right side of the screen, so advertisers can target sports fans without being intrusive.

All the new ad formats leverage NBCUniversal’s One Platform, the company’s proprietary tech stack.

“We want our viewers to engage with brands that are valuable and relevant to them, which is exactly why our new ad innovations leverage our first-party data, shoppable capabilities and the scale of One Platform,” said Peter Blacker, EVP of Streaming & Data Products and head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, in a statement. “Plus, our most premium content is open to any advertiser — after all, Peacock is a singular destination for audiences AND advertisers.”

In addition to the advertising announcements, Peacock revealed its upcoming original films like “Bernard and the Genie,” a remake of the 1991 British comedy movie, which starred Alan Cumming as Bernard and Lenny Henry as the Genie. Peacock’s adaptation will feature Melissa McCarthy as the genie who helps a workaholic man get on his family’s good side for Christmas.

The streamer announced the new sponsors of Lebron James’ documentary “Shooting Stars,” which was previously announced at last year’s NewFronts presentation. Capital One, Google Pixel and State Farm are sponsoring the movie.

Peacock released the teaser last week. It premieres on June 2.

“Shooting Stars” was one of the first original films that Peacock announced, along with “Praise This” and “The Killer.”

NBCU also touted its theatrical release strategy, saying two of every three Peacock subscribers watch recently released Universal films. The most recent Universal films to launch on Peacock include “Cocaine Bear,” “Knock at the Cabin,” “Violent Night” and more.

According to the company, 95% of viewers had a positive reaction to the cinematic ad experiences, including the pre-roll ads and Pause ads.

Peacock recently reported its latest earnings results, which showed the streamer reached a total of 22 million paying subscribers.

Read the original article here.

Samsung and long-time late night host Conan O’Brien are launching a free ad-supported streaming channel on Samsung TV Plus.

At its NewFront presentation on Tuesday, Samsung said the new Conan O’Brien FAST channel will run 24 hours a day and feature 30-minute blocks of clips from O’Brien’s archives.

The clips will come from O’Brien’s shows, with sketch comedy and celebrity guests.

Samsung also announced a number of tech and data related initiatives.

A new TV and You Community panel will offer advertisers granular data about consumers’ TV consumption. The panel is based on data from 5,000 households providing automatic content recognition (ACR) data. 

Samsung Ads said that advertisers will be able to receive a de-duplicated view of linear and streaming campaigns by age/sex demos, by network and by app. 

“The TV and You Community places linear and streaming ads on the same playing field, so advertisers can deduplicate their campaigns, and most importantly, activate based on those insights, with data,” said Justin Evans, Head of Analytics and Insights, Samsung Ads. “It’s an invitation for brands to work with Samsung Ads not just as a media partner, but an insights partner to solve one of the industry’s biggest challenges.”

Samsung will also offer outcome driven campaigns tied to key performance indicators (KPIs) including website engagement, console game play, in-app content engagement, website action, new viewer acquisition and TV network tune in.

Through a partnership with KERV, advertisers will be able to employ shoppable creative experiences created by artificial intelligence on the Samsung Ads Platform.  Shoppable TV ads will appear on CTV urging viewers to connect with brands on a mobile device or other second screen so that programming is not interrupted. Later in the year, Samsung said it will launch CTV ads on Samsung TV Plus that will enable users to interact through their remote controls.

Smart TVs are much more than just an entertainment vehicle. Consumers are now using their Smart TVs in various ways such as from shopping to gaming to socializing in the metaverse and much more. This will provide advertisers with the much-needed ability to enhance ad experiences for more measurable outcomes,” said Cathy Oh, VP, Global Head of Marketing, Samsung Ads. 

Read the original article here.

Samsung Ads is strictly Team Coco.

At its Tuesday morning IAB NewFronts presentation in New York, Samsung Electronics’ advertising arm revealed several new, performance-focused solutions as well as comedy legend Conan O’Brien’s first-ever FAST channel.

Starting later this month, Samsung TV Plus, Samsung’s free, ad-supported streaming service, will launch The Conan O’Brien TV channel. This 24/7 programming is curated as 30-minute collections of clips featuring the best of Conan’s late-night archives, with everything from sketch comedy to celebrity guests.

O’Brien earned the title of Adweek’s 2022 Media Visionary for his influence across late-night, broadcast, cable, podcasting and streaming, and Cathy Oh, vp global head of marketing at Samsung Ads, said the comedian’s first FAST channel has been in the works for a while.

From what I know, he’s been thinking about it for some time,” Oh told Adweek. “I think a part of it was that he was trying to build the content. I still remember all of those vignettes and little 30-minute or even shorter sometimes, eight and ten-minute, little blurbs that he used to do.”

With interviews from big names, including Ryan Reynolds, Tom Hanks, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell, O’Brien’s channel has 100 hours of programming lined up for the launch, with more to come.

Oh assured Adweek that the channel is “definitely binge-able.”

“What we’re seeing is that Samsung TV Plus happens to feel like a destination for Samsung home users,” Oh said.

Beyond adding O’Brien’s channel to Samsung TV Plus’ growing catalog of more than 250 live channels in the U.S., Samsung Ads is launching several performance-focused solutions, from measurement to shopping, to help marketers better reach their audiences.

Building a data community

Among the new additions, the company is unveiling its Samsung TV and You Community, a new panel measurement offering designed to provide advertisers, marketers and publishers granular data about a consumer’s television consumption.

Oh credits Justin Evans, global head of analytics and insights for Samsung Ads, for driving the panel program internally. According to the company, the program uses audio ACR technology to measure the holistic TV content consumption of individual viewers within Samsung households, across both linear television channels and streaming services.

The program is set to include 5,000 opt-in participants by the end of Q1 and has already launched with four pilot partners: a wireless brand, a QSR, an auto brand and a healthcare brand.

“The TV and You Community is intended to provide more of real-time people viewership. I think there’s going to be some incredible learnings that we’re going to uncover both across linear and streaming viewership,” Oh said. “And think about advertisers who want to partner with us receiving deduplicated information.”

More measurement capabilities are also on the way with Streaming ACR Ad Viewership, measuring the actual viewership of ads that run on FAST service Samsung TV Plus and select streaming services and connected devices. With Streaming ACR Ad Viewership, the company said it will be able to provide advertisers with a previously unavailable level of holistic viewership information.

“When we think about streaming in-app ACR, it’s our ability now to measure streaming ads, and more specifically, how our viewers look at streaming ads versus linear ads versus other places that they’re viewing it,” Oh said. “And again, going back to the deduplication.”

Incorporating AI

The company is also bringing AI-powered experiences to shoppable thanks to a new partnership with Kerv.

Samsung already has a partnership with Clinch that uses QR code-enabled ad creative with tag-based solutions. Now, this new Kerv partnership takes a combination of machine learning and algorithms to offer automated, interactive and shoppable advertising solutions for brand partners at scale.

Kerv’s machine learning and AI actively scan placements, recognizing depth, dimension and objects within video in real-time. As a result, Samsung Ads can leverage Kerv to equip its advertisers with the tools to create and implement interactive and automated campaigns across TV, increasing the value of impressions by optimizing toward user engagement.

To reach even more customers, Samsung will also roll out digital out-of-home, with ads appearing within Samsung branded first-party DOOH inventory in premium high-traffic locations in key cities around the country. Additionally, alpha in-store retail supply partners increase the scale of the DOOH network to ensure nationwide coverage.

Oh told Adweek that Samsung is No. 1 in terms of digital screens around the world, and the DOOH inventory will help “reimagine what a screen can do.”

“It’s not just about what’s happening at home. It’s not just about the TV. It’s not just about mobile, which we are absolutely innovating and thinking more about advertising within there,” Oh said. “But it’s about capturing consumers when they leave the home and in different experiences.”

Focusing on ROI of KPIs

And for advertisers concerned about achieving KPIs, Samsung is releasing its Smart Outcomes solutions.

Oh calls Smart Outcomes a “natural evolution” for Samsung Ads’ business, as the company delivers a suite of performance-focused solutions tied to key performance indicators (KPIs) in areas such as website engagement, new user acquisition, gameplay and TV network tune-ins.

According to the company, Smart Outcomes pulls together planning and optimization tools across Samsung Ads product portfolio, including pre-campaign insights tool Audience Advisor, AI-driven Smart Audiences and the Samsung Pixel product.

It’s all part of the company’s plan to connect the dots between consumer experiences and advertiser goals.

“What we’re now looking at is how do we develop services that are going to happen on our TVs and our mobile devices that are not just intuitive and beneficial for consumers, but has a benefit for partners and advertisers as well,” Oh said.

Read the original article here.

By Marika Roque, Chief Innovation and Chief Operating Officer at KERV Interactive

In a world where technology is advancing at lightning speed, data, AI, and adtech are transforming the way brands connect with consumers, opening up a host of new channels and formats that captivate audiences like never before.

Interactive and dynamic video ads particularly offer immense promise as they pull branding down the funnel and they create more personalized experiences that welcome interaction with the consumer while collecting metadata and object-level interaction data, which help brands better understand the interests and intentions of their audiences while powering the most precise forms of measurement  and optimization.

But expanded channels and additional data mean new challenges, such as integrating with existing technology, leveraging in-flight data, and finding alignment formulas for industry-wide metrics. If these challenges can be overcome, everyone—agency, brand, and consumer alike—stands to gain.

The Creative Agency Challenge

In today’s challenging economic climate, brands are increasingly looking for new ways to optimize their marketing budgets, which is why data and key performance metrics are so important.

However, working with creative agencies who make video ads can be tricky. They often have emotional ties to the content they create and aren’t always eager to make even data-informed changes.

The good news is there’s a new metric and technology that will change this game forever: Attention.

Metrics platform Adelaide is working to develop this metric and help publishers make more informed decisions as it pertains to page level placement for programmatic media decisioning. It’s also pushing for more transparency so that publishers can fix issues like page clutter and ad fraud. 

But now, a game-changing alternative has emerged: the Active Attention Index.

The Attention Paradigm

This index is a simplified version of multi-touch data insights, providing brands a snapshot of their ads’ performance–more closely related to business results and consumer intention. The index makes data more accessible and useful for advertisers by considering factors like average time spent, interaction, latency during the consumer’s experience, and the number of interactions per user session in video ads.

For an athleticwear brand, for example, this index paired with metadata insights can determine which creatives are more impactful to the consumer while also indicating which featured products within those creatives are popping more than others and then tie this result back to actual sales.

Attention metrics can also tell brands which videos had the highest (or lowest) attention quality—and why. This allows for quick testing and adjustments, enabling agencies to safeguard their branding and awareness budgets, which is more important now than ever.

Attention is a more useful insight than just click-through rate (CTR) because the latter does not necessarily tell the whole story of the content engagement. And, of course, understanding how users engage with content—including time spent on page and scroll depth—is critical to creating effective marketing strategies that drive engagement and increase revenue.

The results speak for themselves.

In early tests sampling video advertising units over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the average interactivity across all units—with some units doubling interactivity—or more. The average data elements collected per unique user has also continued to increase as well, increasing by upwards of 15 percent year over year.  

Increasing object-level interactivity in video advertising has also helped improve ad measurement and thus optimization opportunities.

At the end of the day, this helps brands work with creative agencies to make data-informed decisions as attention data bridges the gap between the emotional and the digital, allowing for the optimization of creative content based on frequency, recency, and monetary value.

The RFM Model

Data has proven to be a great way to connect ad campaigns to business results—and to make them easier to understand. This has contributed to a renaissance of the Recency, Frequency, Monetary (RFM) model in video advertising.

This model segments customers based on their behavior and value, which allows brands to tailor their content to different groups of consumers at various stages of the funnel. This can help improve engagement, increase conversions, and drive revenue growth.

Whole Foods is one brand that uses this model. With attention-based technology, however, the grocery chain can change its creative on the fly based on frequency. This includes identifying the video content with the lowest attention quality and optimizing at both the creative and user frequency level for better performance.


Adoption of these models by publishers, however, has been mixed so far as they continue to focus on content production. They recognize engagement and attention are key to creating effective content. By zeroing in on attention in particular, publishers can create content that is more likely to be shared—and, in turn, generates more engagement, revenue and value for advertisers.

Attention quality technology allows publishers to analyze their content and ads to ensure they are engaging audiences and capturing attention. By focusing on the quality of attention, publishers can ensure they are creating content and ads that resonate with users, ultimately driving engagement and revenue. However, many publishers still rely on impressions to generate revenue and are reluctant to shift from traditional success metrics, like clicks and views.

Nevertheless, the attention paradigm is gaining traction as other publishers recognize the importance of high-quality content that engages their audiences and drives loyalty and consumer interaction instead of simply generating as many impressions as possible.

In addition to revenue, the attention paradigm is critical to helping publishers resonate with users, who are bombarded by more content than ever before, and capture their attention.


This is a pivotal moment for the ad industry. We’re seeing the ultimate convergence point between art and science, creative and data, as well as creativity and calculation, which opens up a world of opportunity to brands, creators, and publishers. Real-time optimization is a crucial part of this convergence, allowing advertisers to optimize their campaigns as they run, rather than relying solely on post-activation analysis.

This metric and index is meant to help creative agencies enhance their work while also empowering both creative and media to make changes on the fly, maximizing the potential for better client results. But alignment and education must come first to maximize the potential for all. The industry must clearly define what attention means and work together to establish metrics everyone can understand and agree upon in order to capitalize on this revolutionary NEW metric.

Read the original article here.

The demise of Silicon Valley Bank was a shock for the $32 billion venture-debt industry, a critical source of alternative financing for startup companies.

Since its inception, SVB had been a pioneer in the venture-debt field, and a linchpin for venture-backed startups looking for capital to expand their businesses. Last year, SVB had $6.7 billion outstanding in venture loans, according to PitchBook-NVCA Monitor. Now, many are wondering what SVB’s demise will mean for the venture-debt market.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which took control of the lender it now calls Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, sold substantially all of its loans, deposits and branches to First Citizens BancShares Inc. in March. The loans were sold at a discount. As of April 3, some $90 billion in SVB’s securities and other assets remained in receivership. Some see the tumult as an opportunity.

“First Citizens has bought the greatest footprint in the tech innovation hub of America,” says David Spreng, chairman and CEO of Runway Growth Capital, a venture-debt lender that focuses on late-stage startups. “SVB didn’t fail because it had bad loans; it failed because it had bad assets.”

Now market watchers are waiting to see how active First Citizens will be in venture lending in the months ahead as it integrates SVB’s assets and operations into its own bank. An FDIC spokesman verified Silicon Valley Bridge Bank’s venture loans were part of the loan portfolio acquired by First Citizens.

According to Peter Bristow, president of First Citizens Bank, “Silicon Valley Bank will continue to be a leader in providing venture debt to technology and life-sciences companies as a division of First Citizens. We are enthusiastic about this part of our business.” He says the SVB venture-debt team has been onboarded as employees of First Citizens Bank.

Where will it end?

Another unknown is how skittish other bank venture lenders will be as they focus on risk management in the wake of SVB’s failure. “I think you’ll see a tightening of funding as some regional banks pull back a bit,” says Brian Wayne, director of Aegon Asset Management’s Impact Venture Credit Program, which provides venture debt to climate-tech startups.

“We are in the early days of the SVB fallout, and where it all ends is not clear,” says Troy Zander, partner of Barnes & Thornburg’s San Diego office who leads its venture-debt practice. “That’s why many founders who raised venture debt from SVB are now out looking for replacement venture-debt providers that will refinance these loans.”

Some are turning to other regional banks that specialize in providing venture debt—such as Comerica, Western Alliance Bank and East West Bank—as well as J.P. Morgan’s Innovation Economy Debt Solutions business. Others are tapping nonbank lenders such as Hercules Capital, Horizon Technology Finance and Trinity Capital along with new lenders such as Applied Real Intelligence, or ARI.

“I am seeing 10 times more demand since SVB’s blowup,” says Zack Ellison, ARI’s managing general partner and chief investment officer, who is currently seeking investors for the company’s ARI Venture Debt Opportunities Fund. Mr. Ellison says he expects the fund will total $125 million when it closes by year’s end.

Mechanics of venture debt

Unlike traditional bank financing, venture debt is a loan or line of credit with warrants—rights to buy stock at a specific price in the future. It is often backed by a startup’s assets. It is typically offered by specialized banks or nonbank lenders to help fast-growing venture- capital-backed companies get bridge financing until they are ready to raise another round of venture capital, or sell or go public.

Venture loans are most often structured as three- to four-year term loans with an interest-only period of six months to two years. They typically then amortize over the remainder of the Term.

“Up until now, interest rates on these have been based on the prime rate,” currently 8%, says Mr. Ellison—plus, he says, a credit spread that typically could be up to 4 percentage points above that from a bank and 6 to 8 points from a nonbank lender.

While that has been the rule of thumb, Mr. Spreng says warrant coverage can sometimes be much higher on early-stage deals. He also notes that some lenders including Runway Growth often base these loans on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, the cost of borrowing cash overnight using Treasury securities as collateral, instead of the prime rate.

Over the past 15 months, demand for financing in the form of venture debt has boomed as venture capitalists have tightened their purse strings. Venture-capital funding in the U.S. fell 29% to $245 billion in 2022 from $345 billion in 2021. Startups looking to shore up working capital ahead of a possible recession have found venture debt a lifeline.

The drop in private-company valuations has also been a driver in the surge of demand for venture debt. According to Kyle Stanford, a senior venture-capital analyst at PitchBook, the median valuations for early-stage startups has fallen 17% since 2021, and it has declined 65% for late-stage, “venture growth” pre-IPO companies.

The trend has meant that startups must give up more equity in exchange for venture capital, and many founders don’t want that equity ownership dilution. That’s what prodded Gary Mittman, founder and CEO of KERV Interactive, an interactive video company powered by AI to turn to Trinity Capital for $4.5 million in venture debt last October. “Since the SVB collapse, many venture-debt lenders have been aggressively pitching me for business every day,” Mr. Mittman says.

The next worry

As private lenders rush in to fill the void in the market, many worry that venture-debt packages will become more expensive and have more onerous terms. “Private-equity firms usually offer venture loans with higher interest rates and often ask for more equity warrant coverage than a bank,” says Jay Jung, managing partner of Embarc Advisors, a strategic finance advisory for startups and small and medium-size businesses in San Francisco.

But how all of this will play out is unknown, especially as interest rates rise and lenders become more risk averse. ARI’s Mr. Ellison says of the current situation: “It’s like throwing sand in the gears of a machine: Even if the wheels keep turning, it will be a harder process for startups to raise money.”

Read the original Wall Street Journal article here.

Customer-centric approaches that deliver meaningful, personalised and actionable experiences, deliver the biggest impact for advertisers, ensuring agility to keep up with the pace of change. This isn’t a novel approach and advancements continue with the same core principle of providing the best value exchange to customers that positively correlates with business results. It’s just that the technology is evolving at incredible pace, empowering a single TVC to level up and deliver better ROI than ever. Paramount’s Head of Commercial Innovation, Zoe Kostos, unpacks what marketers need to know.

Ad impressions on premium streaming video content, have traditionally provided a simple representation of how many people see an ad on the biggest screen in the house.  

Today, the category has evolved, allowing advertisers to extract more value from every impression providing unparalleled customer insights anchored in business outcomes. Understanding what drives engagement, sales, and retention is now possible from a single brand TVC.

Why do brands need to level up?

Today’s customers are unpredictable but in more control of their experience, which is shaking up the role of the traditional marketing funnel.

Digital transformation accelerates innovation to meet these customers’ needs, allowing them to control their experience with a brand and engage on their own terms. It’s reported that 70 per cent of organisations either have a digital transformation strategy or are working on one.*

This transformation also allows brands to be agile, optimising customer experiences and messages using technology versus manual production.

Over the past two years, customer buying behaviours have evolved exponentially, resulting in the rise of e-commerce, with over 20 per cent of retail purchases expected to take place online this year**. This evolution has driven the adoption of shoppable advertising solutions which allow advertisers to close the loop between media impressions and fragmented online and offline transactions.

Across the connected TV (CTV) environment, brands are leaning into this opportunity to leverage their creative within shoppable formats to provide actionable and frictionless experiences that delivers business results.

This transformation coupled with advertiser demand are influencing the shift from CTV as an awareness platform, to a platform that’s able to reach consumers at any stage of the marketing funnel. This offers an advertising platform that can deliver marketing outcomes through enriched customer understanding, delivering relevance at scale and increasing return on advertising spend.  

Levelling up the impression… brought to life.

Brands are leaning into technology platforms like KERV Interactive to level up their TVC activations through dynamic, data-driven creative, transforming a single brand TVC into numerous, personalised videos for every audience segment, in any context, combined with an engaging call to action.

In the U.S., advertisers like Audi are using this customer-centric approach to level up their creative using data triggers like location to surface the nearest Audi dealerships within a single creative. Audi drove users located in 115 different postcodes to local dealerships, all from a single brand TVC.

Delivering an actionable and frictionless experience is certainly one benefit of shoppable media, but the real value lies in the power of personalisation, combined with product and sales insights to maximise ROI.

In the U.S., Paramount are participating in OpenAPs data hub partnership allowing advertisers to adopt a customer-centric approach through agnostic data matches across all publishers. Advertisers can deliver outcomes aligned to their priorities providing a unique opportunity to be meaningful and level up their impressions.

What does it look like here?

At Paramount ANZ. our strategy is centered around unlocking shared value and business growth with our clients by delivering meaningful connected customer experiences through our innovative use of data and technology.

At our Upfronts we announced several key partnerships with leading ad tech companies including KERV Interactive and Innovid to accelerate the growth of innovation on our platforms.

Over the last six months we’ve bolstered our advertising product suite with the launch of SmartSNAP, Dynamic Video, BrandBOOST and AdSelector with a pipeline of new advertising solutions to come this year.   

We’ve seen a significant uptake from the market in these ad experiences, with advertisers leaning into the opportunity to make their advertising efforts more efficient by streamlining ad development and delivering highly personalised and contextual creative to deliver results.

A smarter, actionable, single impression.

As customer needs continue to evolve and ad technology across streaming video becomes more advanced, the opportunity to understand your customers on a greater more sophisticated level through a single impression is now possible.

Brands should start thinking about how they can tap into this opportunity, combining their TVC with data-driven advertising solutions to extract more value from every impression to achieve results. If they don’t, they’ll simply continue to work harder, while everyone else works smarter.

Read the original Mi3 article here.

In-content advertising company Mirriad and Amagi are teaming up on a technical integration that leverages AI to serve dynamic virtual product placements (VPP) to content owners.

Amagi is integrating Mirriad AI technology, with the new capability made available to “hundreds of content owners” across Amagi’s ecosystem to monetize the new ad format. Tastemade is one of the early content partners utilizing the capability, and the companies cited success activating in the market. Amagi and Mirriad said plans are underway to expand the offering to new channels.

“Tastemade has the unique ability to transform viewers into doers through content that inspires,” said Adam Frischer, U.S. head of Sales & Brand Partnerships at Tastemade, in a statement. “Our brand partners really value Tastemade for providing a destination to reach their prospective consumers while in this ‘doer’ mindset. Mirriad, through its cutting-edge virtual product placement technology, enables our customers to seamlessly get their brands even closer to these moments of inspiration at scale, via an easy-to-activate solution.”

According to the companies, dynamic VPP enables major opportunities for brands to transact and target audiences, while within digital platforms where ad loads are lighter than traditional linear TV. The announcement also called it a step towards truly programmatic in-content advertising.

“With Mirriad, brands can unlock virtual product placements across our global content network for a truly next-generation advertising opportunity,” said Amagi co-founder and chief revenue officer Srinivasan KA, in a statement. “Our partnership provides an incredible opportunity to deliver in-content advertising to the right audience in the right place at the right time and do it at scale.”

Meanwhile, Mark Melvin, EVP and GM at Mirriad Americas, said that research has consistently shown that VPP improves campaign effectiveness and that “adding data driven targeting will further enhance performance.”

“Programmatic Virtual product placement is massive step change in how brands can reach and engage viewers in a way that doesn’t interrupt their viewing experience,” Melvin stated.

Amagi is a vendor that works with major content players with clients that include NBCUniversal, BS-CBN, AccuWeather, beIn Sports, Cinedigm, CuriosityStream, Fox Networks, Fremantle, Fubo, Tastemade, Vizio, Samsung TV Plus, Cox Media Group, among others. Crackle Plus last year tapped Amagi to boost its direct and programmatic ad sales via Ads Plus.  Amagi’s been particularly active in the FAST space as well, helping companies to monetize channels and address business challenges , including transparency and ad insertion.

As for virtual product placement, it’s one avenue that Kearney Partner Mike Chapman zeroed in on as an opportunity for streamers to drive growth beyond expanding subscriber bases. In a recent column for Fierce, Chapman, who is the Americas Media Lead in the Communications, Media and Technology practice of Kearney, noted that while product placement is generally considered effective, up until now it’s been difficult to quantify the impact as “simple product awareness or mindshare doesn’t necessarily lead to actual conversion.”

Streaming, however, changes the game, he said.

“By enabling viewers to voluntarily pause content on their terms, streamers can create opportunities for viewers to engage with activities outside the content in a seamless experience, creating commerce opportunities in the process,” wrote Chapman.

Chapman pointed to not only merchandise and affiliate marketing revenues for streaming services, but also their potential to benefit from possibly collecting vast amounts of data on consumers’ purchasing habits and triggers – helping to improve future product placement, guide content decisions and merchandise releases.

Similarly, speaking to Fierce in January, Sharethrough Chief Product Officer Curt Larson pointed out that advances in product placement could provide new opportunities for smart TV OEMs such as Roku to improve existing advertising tactics.

“Traditionally, product placement requires months of advanced planning to include the right product during filming,” Larson said via email. “Recent advancements in video rendering could make the product placement component more scalable.”

NBCUniversal is one media company pursuing its own commerce platform path for streaming, with plans to introduce shoppable TV on Peacock this year starting with Bravo shows “Top Chef” and “Project Runway.” NBCU is tapping KERV Interactive to power advanced shoppable product placement. KERV’s technology uses computer vision to identify items and objects in shows, making them interactive and shoppable via a remote, while serving viewers the same or similar products matched within NBCU’s One Platform Commerce Marketplace. For a deeper dive into NBCU’s shoppable TV and streaming commerce efforts, see what SVP Evan Moore had to say here.  

Read the original Fierce Video article here.

In an effort to address bias, hate, and discrimination within the United States, KERV Interactive (KERV), the leading AI-powered digital advertising platform, and the Ad Council, a national non-profit organisation at the forefront of driving change through social impact marketing, partnered to extend the Ad Council’s iconic Love Has No Labels campaign. Utilising interactive technology to create opportunities for viewers to take meaningful action, the campaign partnership resulted in an overall clickthrough rate of 0.67%, exceeding the industry benchmark by 123%.

Leveraging the award-winning Love Lives On creative developed by R/GA for Love Has No Labels, the Ad Council and KERV transformed videos of real stories that showcase how acts of love can drive inclusion, equity and justice into interactive media. The technology allowed viewers to experience how individuals acted with love following instances of hate and injustice, such as the murder of George Floyd, alarming rise in violence and harassment toward the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community and the deadly 2016 shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, prompting meaningful actions to take in support of different communities. KERV directed traffic resulted in 12.3% engaged sessions – users who spent 30+ seconds on site. Additionally, users interacted with the KERV’d assets – interactive objects within the video – at an average of 27.9 seconds, indicating a high level of attention and engagement. The Ad Council and Love Has No Labels also utilised KERV’s TikTok integration capabilities to reach unique audience members whose interests, beliefs, and behaviours resonate with the stories featured in the creative assets. The dynamic TikTok campaign resulted in an overall clickthrough rate of 3.08%, exceeding industry benchmarks by 516%.

KERV’s unique interactive technology turns any object in a video into an interactive element, fostering high engagement and clickthrough rates. Additionally, KERV’s technology is able to capture object-level data, which allowed the Ad Council to sequentially target based on the parts of the messaging that viewers were engaging with.

“Engaging with users on a deeper level is always a priority for the Ad Council and KERV’s breakthrough technology made it simple to transform our video campaign into an interactive experience that clearly resonated with users. We’re grateful to KERV for their partnership and commitment to helping drive actions that combat bias and discrimination,” said Laura Wilson, senior director, strategy and media engagement at the Ad Council.

“KERV was honoured to utilise our interactive technology to build awareness and encourage audience involvement with such an important campaign from the Ad Council,” said Marika Roque, COO and chief innovation officer at KERV. “We’re always eager to take on opportunities where our technology can bolster strong awareness and positive engagement for causes like this.”

Love Has No Labels’ brand partners Bank of America, J&J and Walmart, in addition to funding the campaign, can show their support during the year through online and offline activations including social messaging, custom content creation, employee engagement, events and more. To learn more about the campaign and ways to fight bias and discrimination in your community, visit here and join the campaign’s social communities on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Read the original Little Black Book article here.

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As advertisers seek ways to better engage with their audiences, they are turning to interactive video for open two-way, non-intrusive conversations with their customers.

In another boon to advertisers, this interactive approach to video also equips marketers with insights from consumers’ organic interactions — insights that are especially critical as the attention economy becomes more important, brands work to cut through the advertising clutter, and first-party strategies become increasingly essential. 

“For brands, it will forever be about the consumer journey,” said Jay Wolff, Chief Revenue Officer at KERV. “For video, it’s how sight, sound and motion make the consumer feel and drive intent or a feeling for that brand. 

“Making video interactive — especially objects and scenes — and measuring and quantifying engagement using interactive data helps an advertiser follow a consumer’s journey with their brand,” he said. “So if a brand wants to think about making video work harder and smarter, they really have to think about the benefits of making video interactive and honing in on authentic actions and attention.”

Organic user actions are creating unique data points for brands

With interactive video, there are multiple opportunities for consumers to hover over or click various objects in a video — whether users are engaged on TV, mobile or desktop. These meaningful, action-based metrics garnered from interactive video allow marketers to tie consumers’ specific actions to ads more effectively — a critical consideration as both brands and consumers tighten their budgets.

“In a questionable economy, a brand is really losing out if they’re not making their video ads or content work harder and smarter,” Wolff explained. “The goal is obviously to reduce waste and make advertising more accountable. Static ads are wasted impressions. Passive metrics are nice to have, but active metrics and active attention are must-haves in the future.”

While economic uncertainty is impacting brands’ strategies as well as consumer spending, data from KERV indicates that consumers are willing to interact with content from brands if it is relevant, personalized and engaging.

For example, in 2022, KERV client data showed that CTR increased by more than 30% year-over-year on holiday retail ads using interactive video technology. Across KERV retail clients, CTR averaged 1.5%. Additionally, across all KERV retail clients, object highlight time — the amount of time a user hovers over an object in an interactive video — increased from 1.75% to 3.5% year-over-year. Among KERV’s largest retail clients, consumers engaged with interactive video tiles at a rate of nearly 7%, up from an average of 3.13% the previous year.

“When a consumer interacts with a shirt, bathing suit, accessory or next-generation computer in a video, that’s a data point that a brand would never have if the video wasn’t interactive,” Wolff said. “We’re seeing action-based metrics drive real, measurable and quantifiable performance metrics for brands.”

Leveraging video insights for optimized and personalized interactive experiences 

While organic user actions and metrics show how and where viewers are engaging with interactive video ads, Wolff cautions against overly relying on a legacy metric like CTR to illustrate campaign performance.

“There are so many other quantifiable ways to address and learn about consumer intent, including interactors, attention and lean-in engagement,” Wolff said. “We should always be thinking of active attention and engagement in a much larger way, versus the traditional proxy of click-through rate.”

And as interactive technology further evolves, advertisers will also be able to build smarter sequential messaging campaigns that lead consumers down the purchasing funnel more seamlessly. 

For instance, one of KERV’s brand partners used dynamic interactive QR codes on CTV and OTT to inform the consumer journey and drive conversions at multiple retailers. Users who completed or scanned the creative were then sequentially driven to convert through KERV’s shoppable video, Wolff explained.

“The interaction rate was almost 13%, which was 15,100% more than our benchmark,” he said. “We also ran a third-party brand lift study which illustrated a successful increase in brand consideration. We saw that consumers were deeply engaged with the KERV technology when we used sequential messaging off of the scan on the interactive unit on the TV. We’re really about taking a consumer from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel, all through smarter interactivity on ads.”

By leveraging these action-based metrics and insights, brands are creating interactive ads that are increasingly personalized and relevant — ultimately driving conversions and revenue. According to research from McKinsey, companies with the fastest rates of revenue growth drive 40% more revenue from personalization than companies with slower growth.

“An interactor or opt-in consumer needs a frictionless experience to make the journey more valuable,” Wolff said. “So utilizing AI and machine learning techniques and technologies within video is a great way to make the customer journey smarter, such as personalized interactions, optimizing touch points and the right creative at the right time.

“With AI and machine-learning interactive video capabilities, there’s no reason why every video can’t be targeted and personalized in near real-time,” he said. “You’re losing out if you’re not making your ads more interactive and actionable. The data is there to help inform your journey.”

Read the original Digiday article here.

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–KERV Interactive (KERV), the leading AI-powered digital advertising platform, today announced the release of Dynamic Destination, the latest expansion to KERV TV. Audi of America was the first advertiser to utilize KERV’s Dynamic Destination for an OTT ad campaign, in partnership with PHD Media, the global media and marketing communications agency. Leveraging Dynamic Destination, Audi of America and PHD Media were able to capture the uninterrupted attention of over 98 percent of the 14.1 million total viewers, driving users located in 115 different zip codes to their local Audi dealership.

KERV’s Dynamic Destination enables advertisers to direct users to unique destinations based on specific triggers such as location or time of day when the user scans the QR code featured in a CTV/OTT ad. Directing consumers to more relevant landing pages with KERV’s Dynamic Destination adds value to each QR scan/snap, ultimately increasing the propensity to consider and convert. Audi and PHD Media successfully turned a single video into personalized user experiences based on individual scanners’ locations by leveraging KERV’s cutting-edge dynamic technology.

“Brands like Audi understand the importance of removing friction for users, especially in video,” said Jay Wolff CRO of KERV Interactive. “We are thrilled to partner with the teams at Audi and PHD Media to streamline, automate, and measure the way they connect with audiences through OTT to make an impact for both the brand and consumer.”

KERV is reimagining the way consumers connect with content by creating truly dynamic, consumer-first experiences. Using patented technology—built on cutting-edge AI, machine learning, and image recognition—KERV TV scans and auto-detects scenes within a video and seamlessly adds QR codes to CTV/OTT video. Dynamic Destination takes the manual work out of creating unique landing page destinations for consumers based on triggers such as location, time of day, weather, day of the week, browser, etc. making tags and creatives work harder.

“We are always looking for innovative solutions that elevate the consumer experience,” said Kayleen Oblack, Media Manager at Audi of America. “Working with KERV and PHD Media allowed us to quickly and efficiently localize our interactive OTT experiences and guarantee consumers have a more personalized, relevant experience with the Audi brand.”

Read the original Business Wire article here.

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