140 Proof, a startup that says it delivers targeted ads to more than 50 social apps, is adding a video ad unit to its lineup.
Like the company’s existing 140-character text units, the videos can show up in the social stream of any app running 140 Proof ads (and yes, they should work on mobile). Users should be able to click and watch the video without leaving the page, rate it, and bring up a feed of all the tweets mentioning the advertiser’s hashtag.
Co-founder and CTO John Manoogian III told me via email that 140 Proof’s biggest advertisers have been asking for video ads “for a long time.” He pointed to several things that make this a good move for the company. For one, it allows brands to deliver video ads targeted at people with a specific interest, and to deliver those ads in a social stream. For another, it places the videos in the perfect context for further sharing. Manoogian even pitches this as a way to help your standard TV commercial stay relevant.
“The new video ad unit lets brands get more value out of that expensive 30-second TV commercial that lots of viewers aren’t seeing, since they’re now watching shows on Tivo or Hulu or (ahem) BitTorrent,” Manoogian says. “The social video ad unit lets brands reach those users in a context where they are already looking for ‘the next big thing’.”
The company is also sharing some numbers about its recent progress. In 2011, 140 Proof says that it increased revenue by 700 percent, that the average media buy across all customers doubled, and that it tripled its headcount. During that time, the company also raised a $2.5 million Series B from BlueRun Ventures and others. Advertisers include UPS, Nike, and Victoria’s Secret.
140 Proof is the first scalable social advertising platform, reaching over 40 million social users with its Relevance Engine powered by the public Interest Graph. 140 Proof’s Relevance API provides primary revenue streams for premium apps and websites like UserSocial, Echofon, Plume, and HootSuite. The company was founded in 2010 by Jon Elvekrog and John Manoogian III, with Vanessa Naylon, Ryan Matsumura, and Andy Scott. The original idea for 140 Proof sprang from the 2009 social analytics platform Plus One...