Nailing mobile video is a major goal for marketers this year, as exemplified at this week's Digital Content NewFronts presentations. And as Snapchat and Facebook lure advertising dollars away from TV with new video options, smaller ad companies are following suit.
Target is the first advertiser to test a new type of mobile video ad—dubbed Kapsule—from ad company Kargo. As readers on websites like Extra TV and Hollywood Reporter scroll down the screen, a sponsored video player slides out of the right side of the page to recommend related content.
It's a similar concept that publishers (including Adweek) already use on their desktop sites to drive traffic. First, the tool searches the article for keywords and pulls a video about the same topic from a publisher's inventory.
The ad slides away if readers don't touch it for a few seconds, but clicking on it expands the video to full screen, prompting a pre-roll ad to play before the publisher's full-length clip begins.
Target is sponsoring the video promo—which includes branding on the slide-out tool in addition to pre-roll—through April. It has already used the format to promote Easter products like candy and cake decorations.
"The marketplace really feels like there's a lack of options when it comes to mobile—we've been focusing on developing products that put the banner ad to shame," said Karen Scott, Kargo's director of sales strategy.
Theoretically, publishers that don't have a lot of video will be able to monetize and drive traffic with the widget by partnering with other media companies in the future. "Our focus in the past year [has been] telling beautiful brand stories and putting those in the most relevant and contextual environments," Scott said.