ScanScout Intros ‘Super Pre-Roll’ Ad Unit

NEW YORK Online video ad network ScanScout has introduced a new ad unit — the Super Pre-Roll — which the company is presenting to advertisers as a more interactive alternative to typical online video ads.

Super Pre-Roll ads take existing TV spots and attach multiple interactive ‘overlay’ placements on top of it. But unlike most overlays, which appear at the bottom of video players as clips begin, the Super Pre-Roll’s overlay placements appear at various positions on the screen. This functionality is designed to correspond with an ad content.

For example, ScanScout has quietly rolled out a Super Pre-Roll campaign for Unilever’s Vaseline Sheer Infusion that asks viewers, “What do you look for in a body lotion?” It provides several answers within click-able overlay placements. Advertisers could use this format to conduct polls, provide coupons and collect user data, said Bill Day, ScanScout’s CEO.

The hope is to retain what works in online video while helping the format better leverage its particular strengths. “People view pre-roll in divergent ways,” said Day. “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?'”

Day added: “The idea is, ‘How do you keep the positive aspects of and really leverage what the Internet can do?”

Besides adding more interactivity, Day said Super Pre-Roll ads should also provide advertisers with more useful data on video campaigns, which typically consist of viewing and click-through statistics. Plus, the fact that brands can use their existing creative should appeal to budget-conscious companies hesitant to produce original Web-only video ads in the current economic climate, he said.

“This allows them to think more broadly than simply slapping their TV ads on the Web,” said Day.

See also:

“Complaints Rise Against Video Ad Nets”

“Web Ads Get More Intrusive”

“Video Ad Clutter Comes Into Focus”

Nielsen Business Media