Online Video Viewers Want to ‘Choose Their Own Ad’

Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi unit announced today that Hulu’s Ad Selector was tops among video ad units tested as part of its “Pool” research project, suggesting that Hulu might be revolutionizing the video ad market by allowing its users to select the ad they want to see. 

What video viewers really want is choice, the research suggests. Hulu’s Ad Selector unit gives its users the option to choose between two comparable ads — meaning that viewers are opting in to watch an ad that is somewhat relevant to their interests. Or at least, it gives them the feeling that they’re choosing an ad that’s relevant to their interests, rather than showing an ad that might be completely unrelated.

Ads run by a number of online publishers were analyzed, including some on AOL, BBE, CBS Interactive, Discovery Communications, Hulu and Yahoo. Participating marketers included Publicis clients such as Allstate, Applebee’s, Capital One and Nestlé Purina PetCare.

The research did not include ads from other ad agencies or marketers that aren’t Publicis clients, however, which has caused some marketers to question the VivaKi’s findings.

VivaKi spent 16 months and more than 230,000 hours of analysis examining different ad formats to determine which were most effective in reaching online video viewers. The analysis included 29 different video ad models that were shown to more than 25 million customers.

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