WebTv Advertising: Click-To-Video Ads

Television and the Internet are on the verge of converging, and WebTV Networks Inc.[http://www.webtv.com], a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.[http://www.microsoft.com], hopes to lead the way with its new advertising product, Click-To-Video ads.

Click-To-Video ads allow WebTV’s half-million subscribers to select an advertiser’s banner ad and then view a full-screen, full-motion video TV commercial for the advertiser’s product before arriving at the advertiser’s Web site. The feature gives advertisers a way to seamlessly integrate their online and television campaigns while providing viewers entertainment as they access information they find relevant.

“Advertisers benefit by reaching an audience inaccessible to them through any other medium,” says Joe Poletto, vice president of advertising, sales and strategic partnerships at WebTV. “The audience is interactive, new to the online world, and shares the WebTV experience with families and friends in the comfort of their living rooms.”

Advertisers submit their existing banner ads and television commercials to WebTV Networks, where they are integrated into an advertising product. Click-To-Video ads join WebTV’s other advertising products: Topical Spots, a banner ad that runs within the Explore directory of the WebTV service, Surf Spots, which appear between Web sites as the subscriber surfs the ‘Net, and Video Spots, which are broadcast-quality, full-screen 15- or 30-second spots that air while viewers connect to the WebTV service.

WebTV already boasts some prominent advertisers for its Click-To-Video ads: Ford Motor Co.[http://www.ford.com], Hewlett-Packard Co. [http://www.hewlett-packard.com/], Maytag Corp.[http://www.maytag.com], and Volvo Cars of North America Inc. [http://www.volvo.com] are among them.

“Click-To-Video ads enables us to get a tremendous bang for the buck by leveraging our TV and online campaign assets to provide an entertaining new advertising experience for consumers,” says Gregory Galloway, head of interactive media for GiantStep, an Internet consulting company and solutions provider. “We can take advantage of the categorical and geographic targeting capabilities offered by WebTV Networks while also achieving the impact of full-screen TV.”