Next generation advertising
In the digital age the commercial value of content is increasingly important.
Those of us who download each episode of Grey’s Anatomy almost immediately after its release (did you SEE the finale of Season five?!) have no reason to watch the show on normal TV. This means that we will never see the adverts that various companies have paid for, which means that these companies are losing revenue and are therefore less likely to invest in television ads in the future. Those of us who still watch normal TV can use our PVR decoders to fast-forward through the ads anyway.
Of course, in a developing country like South Africa where so few citizens have PVR or internet access this is not a crisis, yet. But the industry needs to think about the next generation now to avoid being caught unawares later.
So, TV executives have to re-conceptualise traditional advertising models according to the audience’s changing consumption behaviour. Future South African audiences are going to be able to customise and interact with the programmes they watch – they should be able to do the same with advertising.
When I started thinking about how this might be achieved I became dazed and confused. But then I heard about blinkx, an innovative technology that has already figured it out.
blinkx (with a small ‘b’) is the world’s largest and most advanced video search engine, boasting an index of over 35 million hours of searchable video content. I’m no mathematician but according to my calculation that’s nearly 4000 years worth of video! More than enough to keep you occupied.
The secret is in the search technology: with normal search engines, users type in a word and the programme scans its archives for content which contains that word. blinkx has incorporated elements of patented conceptual search, speech recognition and video analysis software within its search function, making it especially efficient at finding and analysing video content.
The best part is that in addition to identifying specific content blinkx is also able to find and match relevant advertising. Advertisers also have different options as to how ads are placed in online video.
Be honest, if an ad for a range of hair prouducts popped up here you would click through.
It’s an idea which might just work because it optimises the online medium to a greater extent than previous models. Consumers will encounter advertising that is directly linked to their video content and therefore relevant to them, and they will be able to interact with advertising on their own terms.
We are increasingly seeing product placement within popular TV shows as an alternative means of advertising but this is a somewhat subtler method. blinkx takes this to the next level by enabling online video viewers to take action and click on products for more information.
Of course the other option is to be like Nandos and make your ads so awesome that people watch them online for fun.The Julius Malema puppet ad has been viewed on The Times website 17 881 times, making it the website’s second most popular video ever! Click here if you haven’t seen it yet.
It will be interesting to watch if and how the South African advertising industry will begin thinking more seriously about the online medium.
Catherine Sackville-Scott blogs at Next Generation TV Show