Clipstream brings audio/video ads to Web sites, e-mail

With the recent advent of high-quality streaming video ad banners, it is hardly surprising that the Internet is increasingly challenging television as a medium for advertising. In a move to empower its online advertising clients with richer, more effective marketing capabilities, Toronto-based Internet property suite Bell Globemedia Interactive has formed a licensing agreement with Destiny Media Technologies, the Vancouver-based developer of Video Clipstream streaming media technology.

With the recent advent of high-quality streaming video ad banners, it is hardly surprising that the Internet is increasingly challenging television as a medium for advertising. In a move to empower its online advertising clients with richer, more effective marketing capabilities, Toronto-based Internet property suite Bell Globemedia Interactive has formed a licensing agreement with Destiny Media Technologies, the Vancouver-based developer of Video Clipstream streaming media technology.

Browsers accessing BGMi’s Report on Business site (www.robtv.com) this month will be exposed to a streaming video ad for the Acura 2003 CL luxury car, courtesy of the agreement that was signed earlier this year. Using Video Clipstream technology, a non-audio video automatically streams when the visitor clicks a banner, showing the vehicle skimming down the road. And when it ends, the visitor is guided to an information page about the car.

‘Clipstream allows us to give our advertising clients, who have invested a significant amount of money in TV creative, the opportunity to consider tactical replacements that can be done online,’ says Gary Fearnall, VP of sales at Toronto-based BGMi. ‘You can take the emotional appeal from a TV ad and translate it onto the Web.’

The project comes on the heels of a similar ad campaign for data and Internet service provider, WorldCom, which launched on BGMi’s www.globeandmail.ca site in April and will run until late June, also in conjunction with Destiny Media. This campaign includes an audio element, bringing different messages to the visitor each week. Earlier this year, Markham-based IBM Canada also placed a streaming video ad on BGMi’s robtv site, and received more than 200,000 plays.

Video Clipstream, which launched two years ago, uses Java streaming software, to stream hours of video footage. The combination of audio and visual elements provided through Video Clipstream makes it easy for the marketer to catch and retain the attention of the audience, according to John Pillsbury, channel manager at Destiny Media.

The advantage to the online marketer over traditional banner ads, says Pillsbury, is that no plug-ins are required, and the ad downloads instantly. Marketers also benefit from controlling the technology themselves to deliver the video file from their own server, and can make use of a tool site to create their own content.

Pillsbury also claims that the audio and visual capabilities and instant-play features mean that 50% of people who start watching a Clipstream-generated video play it to the end, a significantly higher number than with a standard Web banner. Naturally, there is an increased cost of around 10% over a normal banner, although Pillsbury says the client is generally more than happy to pay extra because of the high ROI.

Also taking advantage of Video Clipstream technology this spring, Sony bought a licence for 10 million video banners to promote the recently launched Spider-Man movie with a video trailer. Unlike traditional online videos, it downloads instantly and doesn’t reject users who lack a particular player.

The technology can also be used to embed a streaming video directly into an HTML-compliant e-mail. Last year, San Francisco-based investment management company Franklin Templeton Investments made use of this feature to deliver a Christmas greeting, containing an AV message from its company CEO, directly to its clients’ mail boxes. LS

In our ‘Webbed Feat’ column, Strategy Direct+Interactive brings to light stellar Canadian digital applications, formats or campaigns – ones that push the e-marketing envelope. If you have any, please contact bjohnson@brunico.com.