SANTA MONICA, Cali.--GumGum, Inc., a technology and artificial intelligence company specializing in solutions for advertising and media, announced today the preliminary rollout of a new In-Video ad unit. The animated overlay, which offers a uniquely high impact non-invasive ad experience for online video content, has been made available to select partners through a pilot beta-test program. Sprint is among several brands participating.
Video content has proved fertile ground for advertisers, but the experience associated with the prevalent ad formats available for online video is often criticized. Appearing for six-second periods in the lower-third portion of a video, GumGum's In-Video ads do not interrupt playback the way that pre- and mid-roll ad units do, but they are equally memorable, according to preliminary brand recall research [see footnote 1].
"These In-Video units have a simple but crucial advantage over pre-roll or mid-roll: they deliver messaging and creative to highly engaged users who are actively viewing video content, and without disrupting their user experience," said GumGum CGO Ben Plomion. "We feel that In-Video represents a new realm of branding opportunities for the advertiser and we're obviously proud to have partners like Sprint –– a company known for leading technological transformation –– who share our interest in developing alternatives to pre-roll and mid-roll."
GumGum will run its In-Video pilot program through December, before moving toward a wider release for the product in 2020.
"Sprint is working with GumGum to test a better, less disruptive airing of advertising while people watch video content," said Steve Gaffney, Vice President of Media for Sprint. "In-Video creates an opportunity for brands like Sprint to deliver memorable messages that don't disrupt the viewing experience."
"GumGum has always been a great partner giving us first looks at new and innovative creative opportunities." added Nikki Neary, Vice President of Digital with Horizon Media, which facilitated the beta partnership. "People's attention must be earned and it has to be a rewarding experience. Working with innovative clients like Sprint and partners like GumGum allows us to stay ahead in the race for attention and engagement."
The increasing consumer appetite for web and OTT video content makes In-Video a logical next step for the company responsible for developing the technology behind the first In-Image ads. GumGum currently has a patent pending on a Server Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) overlay technology that will allow the company to serve its In-Video units in OTT environments.
"Contextual targeting is our bread and butter and as we develop the ability to understand video content at the level that we understand image and text content, In-Video becomes attractive not just as an alternative to other video ad formats, but also as a leading tool for reaching receptive audiences in a way that optimizes user experience and serves the growing clickless OTT video ecosystem," Plomion concluded.
 Findings from a March 2019 online survey of 254 individuals.