Video Contest Will Send Winning Marketer Into Outer Space

Best b-to-b promo ever?

When it comes to hype, business-to-business marketing typically takes a backseat to consumer-based initiatives. But Virool may have found a way to cut through the clutter—even during Advertising Week—as it is announcing a marketing video contest that will send the winner into outer space.

The programmatic video startup, which claims to have served 60,000 ads in its first two years, is encouraging video creatives to submit spots to a dedicated channel through May 4, 2015. Virool will then pick the video that best captures an "out of this world" theme, and award the victor a seat aboard the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo.

The outer-space seats reportedly cost $250,000. Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Group, recently said he expects his service to begin in 2015 after having to push back launch plans for this year.

When the flights do take off, the initial trips will likely make for social media gold, with passengers tweeting and Instagramming their experiences. And Virool now stands to gain from such buzzy action.

Virool says it has 30,000 global paying customers (often spending a few hundred dollars), and 100,000 online and mobile publisher properties have run video content from its platform. The San Francisco company, a product of notable startup accelerator program Y Combinator, raised roughly $6.6 million last year to launch its business. It offers automated viral video publishing tools to help creatives push their work through its ad network.

"We've democratized programmatic for the public," said Brian Danzis, chief revenue officer at Virool, who recently joined the player from competitor Videology. "While a lot of our customers are local businesses using the self-service tools, we are seeing global brands and their agencies [employing our platform]."