Live Video Comes to Banners

NEW YORK Once mere static billboards along the information superhighway, banner ads are taking on a second life as a conduit for all types of multimedia content.

New Line Cinema, promoting the upcoming thriller The Number 23, used banner placements on sites like AOL, Yahoo and MSN to stream near-live video from fan confessionals it put up at the Rhino Bar & Pumphouse in Washington, D.C., last Friday.

New Line production shop Foglight Entertainment shot, edited and uploaded video snippets to the Web units less than 10 minutes after they were taken, creating stylized effects to make the 30-second clips appear professional, said Chris Young, executive vice president of rich media at DoubleClick, which has developed the banner technology. The video banners ran from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the portal sites.

The studio is the first to test a new product release from DoubleClick’s Innovation Lab, a unit built to explore new broadband video applications after DoubleClick acquired it from Klipmart last June.

Live, original programming is the next evolution in advertiser Web video, said Young, who was Klipmart’s CEO. Until a year ago, over 90 percent of the video Klipmart ran in ad units was repurposed TV fare, he said, but that has begun to change as more advertisers shoot specifically for the Web and seek to create their own compelling content.

“Advertisers are saying, I’ll create my own channel and I’ll control the consumer experience the way I want it,” he said.

Young anticipates advertisers using live streams for movie premieres, product launches and real-time events.

Live video banners join other advances that are transforming the once-maligned banner ad into a creative palette. Klipmart, Eyeblaster and PointRoll have used display ad units for years to deliver video content, from TV commercials to film trailers. Now other services are appearing in banner placements. Pheedo is using banners to pipe real-time headlines and videos using RSS technology, while Vizu is building a banner ad network to run snap-market research polls.

New Line is not the first to dabble in using banner placements as a live broadcasting vehicle. Cisco Systems last November streamed a Webcast presentation by an executive through Web banner placements, using technology provided by On24.