Pre-roll ads--the 5- to 15-second commercials you usually ignore while waiting for the online video you wanted to see to start playing--are taking on a new look, and might be a touch more alluring to viewers with the advent of ScanScout's new Super Pre-Roll ad unit. The ads, like this one from Unilever for its Vaseline Sheer Infusion, use interactive overlays to engage viewers.
Overlays play off the content of the ad and can appear in any position on the screen, not just as a bar across the bottom or top of the screen, ScanScout said. CEO Bill Day told MediaWeek the ads could be used to poll viewers, collect user data and even issue coupons to viewers who interacted with an ad.
"People view pre-roll in divergent ways," Day told MediaWeek. "It's great for branding, and it offers rich messaging. But it has the same disadvantages as TV ads. It's more of a sit back experience, and you wonder, ‘is the user really paying attention?' "
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