With Web video inventory in short supply, DaimlerChrysler is streaming clips in a novel way by using hyperlinks to lay claim to lifestyle terms like "freedom" that it associates with its brands.
For intance, a visitor to PopularMechanics.com, FoxSports.com or iVillage will see a double green hyperlink under terms like "adventure" for Jeep. Unlike most hyperlinks that direct users to editorial sources, these links are ads and hovering over them will be pop-up video teasers for the brand; clicks go through to the Web site. "This is strictly about getting someone not on a Jeep site onto a Jeep site," said George Murphy, svp of global marketing at DaimlerChrysler.
DaimlerChrysler has secured more than 1,000 terms, including its nameplates and lifestyle words, on the Vibrant Media in-page ad network, which covers over 1,600 Web sites (such as several Hearst Web properties).
DaimlerChrysler only pays when users click on the ads. Rates for auto ads on Vibrant Media are typically in the $7 per click range; advertisers often receive 20 free video views for every click.
This overt mixture of advertising and content has caused Vibrant Media some controversy in the past. Two years ago, Forbes.com ended a brief experiment with the company after editors objected to the intrusion of advertising in news stories. Vibrant Media CEO Doug Stevenson said in-text ads are mainstream now and cited Sony Pictures and Microsoft as clients.
"We're offering video advertising the user can choose to see or not to see," he said. "We're addressing the issue of not applying the old TV model to the Web."