I’ve heard a lot on “advanced advertising” in my day job recently, so when the opportunity came up to talk with Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback (formerly of PC Magazine) about their deal with VideoClix, I could hardly turn it down. VideoClix does pop-up content for Internet video, (think an online, ad-driven version of MTV’s pop-up video) and Revision3 is now planning to use VideoClix in some of its online shows, starting with a premier VideoClix-enabled episode of Diggnation.
Since advertisers have been slobbering over the idea of interactive advertising for a decade or more, I was anxious to hear how well VideoClix is working for Revision3. Disappointingly, there’s no answer on that yet. Not only is Revision3 not releasing specifics on that front (not surprising with only one VideoClix-enabled show up), but it turns out VideoClix, at this point, is just a piece of spaghetti that Revision3 is throwing at the proverbial wall. According to Louderback, Revision3 is a leader in product placement, online video sponsorships and is even part of Google’s early-stage Adsense-for-video program. In other words, while the company definitely likes VideoClix, Revision3 is hardly betting the farm on it. The company is really just trying something new and hoping it makes some money.
As a consumer, I haven’t remotely made up my mind about VideoClix either. The Diggnation demo is very cool, but in a novelty kind of way, not an I-want-this-on-all-my-TV-shows kind of way. I can see an ongoing appeal for non-fiction shows like Diggnation, but I think I’d find the feature highly irritating while watching, for instance, Battlestar Galactica. I really don’t want to know that I can get Starbuck’s boots at LL Bean. (My suspension of disbelief is stretched far enough with BSG, thank you…)
Despite not giving me any reason to believe that VideoClix is the one great answer to the problem of monetizing Internet video, Louderback did provide some heartening stats on Internet advertising in general. For example, viewers of Revision3 shows have very high unaided recall rates of sponsored products and companies. And, according to Louderback, 48% of viewers have purchased a product or service from one of Revision3′s sponsors.
In addition, without being able to provide any details, Revision3 is apparently pretty happy with VideoClix. The company was planning one VideoClix-enabled show monthly, but is now thinking of upping that number.
So has the Internet finally made interactive television advertising possible? It’s not clear. The answer is probably yes for certain kinds of entertainment and no for others. Sometimes interactivity is good. And sometimes I just want to watch my TV… even on the Internet.