Google using neuroscience research to test overlay video ads.

YouTube still doesn’t seem to deliver sufficient revenue and the video ads on offer still haven’t been picked up by the ad community. In addition to the regular display ads, there are also overlay ads, which cover one third of the video. (Google says they will also be introducing pre- mid- and postroll ads, when they’re launching full length videos.)
However, the overlay ads have not yet been widely accepted, so Google has now undertaken a study:

Teaming up with the neuromarketing firm NeuroFocus and the branding consultancy MediaVest, Google conducted a study in which it measured people’s nervous-system responses – through brain-scanning skull sensors, eye tracking, pupil dilation, and galvanic skin response – as they watched YouTube ads.

There were only 40 participants, whose score for overlay ads was apparently above average:

Specifically, after fielding a study among 40 participants last May, InVideo ads scored above average on a scale of one to 10 for measures like “attention” (8.5), “emotional engagement” (7.3) and “effectiveness” (6.6). According to officials, a 6.6 score is considered strong. (Source)

Yet they worked best when in combination with banners:

The combination of overlays with companion banners also grabbed users’ attention more than banner ads alone, scoring a 6.6 compared to a 6.3 for just banners. (Source)

I can see that getting in-video ads right will be a huge leverage for YouTube to achieve sufficient revenue. And it’s probably one of the best ways to quickly and substantially increase revenue options on the site.

Yet I would prefer more creative and user relevant options for displaying the messages of my clients…

Another interesting fact is the news about the advanced neuroscience approach Google has taken to evaluate their overlay ads. Only 40 participants, but probably much more data available than you would get from 100 traditional focus groups.

Always read the fine print in advertising

In the following billboard, the price for a car rental is marked at 129.- Euros:

And as you can see, in the fine print, it says that at airports Sixt charges an extra 19%, i.e. 153,31 Euros in total. Why not you might ask – and I agree, why not. Let them charge what they want, where they want.

But I do ask, why they put up a billboard with this fine print copy AT THE AIRPORT? Yes, I took that picture at the airport in Hamburg!

Why did they not simply put up a billboard with the “real” price for that location?

MySpace started “MyAd” for long tail advertising

All social networks are heavily working on finding ways to earn money through some kind of advertising or marketing.

MySpace, one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) social network is already earning close to billion dollars in revenue.

Now they launched a new self serving ad platform. Ads are served on a CPC basis and you have to design them yourself. However, they’re not text ads, they’re display ads, which you can design yourself on the myspace website

The most interesting feature, however, is the targeting options you have. As Techcrunch writes:

The key to MySpace’s ad platform is their hypertargeting technology. Facebook allows targeting as well, although it’s based on interest areas put in by users directly. So if someone says they like books, you can target ads to them based on that. What MySpace does is much different – they build out a profile of each user based on what they do on MySpace over time, with 1,200 different ways to categorize each user. So if you only want to target women who live in California between the ages of 25-30 who like motorcycles, i can. There are 2,842 of them on MySpace.

If that works properly – and if it is accepted by the community to be targeted in that way, it could well be a huge opportunity for myspace to increase advertising revenues!

Doritos lets you fill the internet with stuff you like

At the beginning of the video it says that the agency was asked to create online advertising for Doritos. Sounds like a typical briefing, but the agency instead came up with something completely contradictory: a tool that removes online advertising (and let’s you fill the space with something you like instead).
The idea behind this:

what if the internet was just like a bag of Doritos. Filled only with the stuff you like.

Great idea to achieve awareness on regular media sites without actually pushing ads in your face. Here is the case study video: