Unicast Adds Interactivity to Web Commercial

NEW YORK Unicast this June will roll out the second version of its 4-month-old video commercial, which will incorporate interactivity into the full-screen, broadcast-quality ad.

The upgrade from the New York-based online advertising company will allow for interactive elements, such as contest entries or product demonstrations, to reside next to the video presentation. The ad, which operates on the Microsoft Windows Media 9 series platform, loads while users are idle on a Web site and then plays without delay when they move between pages.

Currently, RPA, aQuantive’s Avenue A and WPP Group’s OgilvyInteractive are developing campaigns for clients using the new unit. The ads will run on sites such as ABCNews.com, About.com, Lycos, iVillage and BusinessWeek Online, among others.

In January, Unicast introduced the original video commercial with advertisers like AT&T, Pepsi and Vonage participating in a six-week beta program [Adweek, Jan. 19]. Unicast svp of marketing Allie Savarino said the company expects the unit to command prices on par with TV CPMs of about $25-30.

A study conducted by Dynamic Logic during the beta program found that less than 30 percent of consumers found the new ad format annoying [IQ Daily Briefing, March 12, 2004]. The New York-based research firm also found that the video commercial raised brand awareness by 54 percent, message association by 144 percent, brand preference by 40 percent and purchase intent by 47 percent.