Disney and Buffalo Wild Wings Are Making Mobile Video Ads More Interactive

AdColony debuts a system that offers custom creative

The spots can include things like digital treasure hunts and reactive cars.

AdColony wants to make mobile video ads more interactive, and today it’s unveiling what looks to be a flexible system called Aurora HD Video.

For example, Disney is running custom trailer ads on the program to promote its movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The ad sends viewers on a virtual treasure hunt to look for and tap specific items on the screen, earning exclusive content from the film as a reward for the items they found.

Buffalo Wild Wings, meanwhile, has a campaign where its Foodoo doll—which appears in the chain’s TV spots—comes in and out of view on the smartphone screen, teasing folks to use their fingers to digitally catch the doll. Once the doll is “caught,” chicken-wing-sauce fingerprints are displayed over the video where the viewer touched the phone.

Genesis Motors, OMDe, Horizon Media and Canvas Worldwide are also testing Aurora. A hypothetical use case for an auto brand like Genesis, per an AdColony rep, would entail an ad where consumers could tilt their phone, triggering the car in the video to react, depending on how the phone was moved (e.g., if the car was at a stop sign, the viewer could make the car turn left or right). This could be done by prerecording multiple clips of the car doing various things, and then layering them on top of one another within the ad unit, so the right video could be pulled up in real time to make the car on the screen move the way the consumer wants.

The system brings a kind of virtual reality that consumers want to engage with, said Will Kassoy, CEO of AdColony, which reaches 1.5 billion global consumers across the world’s top 1,000 apps and competes with other digital video players such as YuMe, Vungle and Tremor Video.

Kassoy told Adweek that it’s “not necessarily VR itself that gets people so excited, but it’s the ability to provide an immersive experience. How you can you give consumers a way to really go deep with your brand and feel like they are a part of it? With Aurora, we set out to tackle this, and provide a solution that can actually scale.”