Vibrant already offered video ads, but a spokesperson tells me there are a number of new pieces here. For one thing, it’s using Vibrant’s Lightbox Image technology, which identifies “brand-safe” images, then overlays advertising on top of them — in this case, a message asking users to hover over the image or click on it to watch a video. The ad can also be activated through in-text ads. Either way, there’s a 3-2-1 countdown before the video starts, and the advertiser only pays if the viewer actually chooses to watch the video.
The company argues that this approach, one that isn’t limited to just running pre-roll (or mid-roll or post-roll) ads with online videos, expands the supply of video inventory.
I suspect that a lot of Vibrant’s conversations with journalists follow a similar pattern: “Those ads are really annoying.” “You only think they’re annoying, consumers actually like them.” “Really?” (At least, that’s how my first meeting with CEO Cella Irvine went, and I got the sense she’d had that conversation several times before.) Whether or not you’re sold on the idea of in-text ads, the Lightbox Video approach does seem sensitive to the needs of both advertisers and consumers — you may accidentally hover your mouse over an ad, but it won’t start playing the video unless you choose to keep hovering.
Other features include YouTube integration, social media sharing features, social feeds, and companion units. You can read more about Lightbox here.