SPH's new online video ads zoom in on target audience - Feb 19, 2008 (ST)

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The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

SPH's new online video ads zoom in on target audience

More than 10 big names, including M1 and Aviva, have signed up to advertise.

By Chua Hian Hou
Feb 19, 2008
The Straits Times

MEDIA group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has launched a new online video advertising system that will allow clients to target very specific audiences.

Photo: SPH

Car dealers, for example, could opt to have their video commercials shown only to visitors to AsiaOne's motoring channel, while restaurants can direct their advertisements to wine- and-dine channels.

In this way, 'savvy advertisers can make good use of the targeted nature of SPH's websites to maximise their advertising dollars', said Mr Raymond Teoh, assistant vice-president of SPH's interactive business unit.

After each advertising campaign, SPH will provide detailed reports on how each ad fared to help fine-tune future campaigns. This will include the average time a user spends viewing the video and the number of click- throughs.

Click-throughs, a common measure of online advertising effectiveness, refers to the number of users that click on the ad after viewing it.

The ads, which are available on the online versions of The Straits Times, The Business Times, The New Paper, AsiaOne, Stomp and omy, appear as a video screen floating over the website.

The screen can also be custom-designed: Nokia's ad, for example, looks like a mobile phone and it can incorporate various clickable buttons to enable the purchase of an item or to give feedback on the ad.

Users accessing SPH sites should not find the video ads intrusive or distracting. This is because the ads will be located at the lower right portion of the screen so as not to block the website contents.

There will also be an easily accessible button to mute the ad.

In addition, the system downloads the ad in the background. This means any excess Internet bandwidth can be used to download the entire video ad while the user is reading the site's other contents.

The video will play only when fully downloaded. In this way, the user gets the content he wants from the website quickly, and the ad does not suffer from the video 'stutter' commonly seen on video-streaming sites such as YouTube.

The system, which was co-developed with Canada-based MediaOne Networks, will also limit the number of times the user views the ad to once a day. If the user visits the site again the same day, the same ad should not appear.

More than 10 major brands have signed up for the new advertising system, including Nokia, MobileOne (M1), Aviva and the People's Association.

SPH is targeting revenues of $1.2 million for the new system within its first year, with turnover hitting $12 million within five years.