VivaKi Powering Up ASq Web Video Ad Tool

The biggest players in TV and online video are putting their support behind the ASq, an ad treatment which allows viewers to pick what ads they want to watch prior to watching a video on the Web– as the industry hopes it has arrived upon a standard placement ala TV’s 30-second spot that will thrust the burgeoning medium into a new financial stratosphere.

In February, Publicis’ VivaKi’ revealed the ASq to be the most effective ad placement for long form video, based an intensive round of research within a larger initiative called The Pool.

Then, on Wednesday (Sept. 29) VivaKi announced that the ASq as the surprise winner of The Pool’s second wave of research, which centered on identifying the best ad types for short form videos.

Now, VivaKi and its partners are moving aggressively to push the ASq. This past Monday, media companies ranging from YouTube to Hulu to CBS to MSN began rolling out campaigns feature the unit. And since Lane 2 was completed, VivaKi has received official buy in from NBC and ABC—two networks which had previously avoided the project.

During a launch party in a lush loft space on New York’s far West Side—complete with themed cocktails, Tracey Scheppach, VivaKi’s director of innovation, laid out the group’s lofty goals

“What we need for online video is a workhorse unit,” she said. “We want to monetize the same way as TV. Our goal is to create the global ad standard.”

To that end, Scheppach laid out several compelling statistics from Lane 2 of The Pool, which included 40 companies. When compared to the industry standard pre-roll ad, the ASq demonstrated an increase in top of mind awareness of 363 percent. “This is the most researched ad unit of all time,” said a confident Scheppach.

To order to ensure that the ASq looks, feels and works the same on every site, and its partners have established a cooperative company, The Rising Tide. Four companies have been recruited to handle the technical implementation of the unit: Vindico, Visible Measures, Panache and TidalTV.

Besides technical assurances, the co-op should help convince the industry that the ASq isn’t just ‘VivaKi’s ad unit. “The key is getting other agencies on board,” said Scheppach.

The fact that a single ad placement will be available across so many partners and content types should help. Yet some might question the idea of presenting an interrupting choice before short form content.

Scheppach said that the group tested 28 different ad placements in Lane 2, and in the end, “choice won out.”

The key will be to limit how often users encounter such a choice. Scheppach said with the help of TidalTV’s technology, advertisers will be able to control frequency even as users jump from site to site. “That’s crucial for this to succeed.”