Clickable Video ads

WSJ has a story ” ‘Clickable’ video ads catch on” about linking objects in a popular video to advertisements. This technology has been talked about for long time but was not easy to implement on TV. With video on Internet, things are changing. As the article points out:

To be sure, giving consumers the ability to click on a video image in a favorite TV show — say, Teri Hatcher’s sweater from an episode of “Desperate Housewives” — and instantly buy the identical item online has been touted by technology companies for years without results. The technology has never taken off because few people own TV sets capable of doing so, and because networks haven’t made offering this type of product placement a priority.

Still, networks are putting more emphasis on the technology as they scramble for a bigger piece of the ad money that is starting to flow away from traditional television and toward the Internet. Indeed, both networks are offering “clickable video” as part of their pitches to advertisers in the “upfront” ad-selling presentations that began this week. In the upfront market, networks sell the bulk of their ad time for the coming TV season.

The arrival of clickable video on network Web sites is courtesy of Avant Interactive, a closely held Los Angeles company. Avant says its technology works on video downloads, streaming video and DVDs. In addition to use on home computers, it eventually will be available for use with digital television set-top boxes, allowing consumers to use their remote controls to save frames of video and select objects within them for more information. The technology that works with set-top boxes is built, but not deployed to consumers yet.

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