CEO Mitchell Reichgut told me that Jun Group actually “soft launched” Overdrive back in June, and it already accounts for more than 30 percent of the company’s revenue.
Overdrive is basically an ad format that looks like sponsored content on the publisher’s website, but actually points to a promotional website or micro-website owned by the advertiser. You can see an example here, where the ad appears in a site’s news feed, and when you click on it, it links to a Starbucks page. Reichgut said the sponsored content shouldn’t just be the usual promotional copy, but something that’s actually interesting and worthwhile for consumers.
Is “owned advertising,” as Reichgut characterizes it, really a new idea? Well, the term itself isn’t entirely new, and in appearance, the Overdrive ads resemble what are sometimes native ads or content-style ads. (I think trying to pry apart each of those terms with strict definitions would be futile).
For his part, Reichgut said that, compared to other ad products, with Overdrive, “The focus is on pages that the brands control. … The big insight is that it’s no longer about reaching out to people but bringing people in.”
I also asked him how this fits into Jun Group’s existing business, and he said it takes advantage of the existing network to deliver “millions of impressions” for each campaign, while also applying the company’s “core principles,” namely that “advertisers have an absolute right to know where their video is going to run and how.” Plus, even though the Overdrive ads can point to any kind of content, Reichgut said they often involve video in some way.