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Think Big. Move Fast.

Last week I missed the announcement of “The Pool“, a new initiative to help build standards in online video advertising:

Media companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, CBS’s CBS Interactive and Hulu.com are joining forces to attract more money to the fledgling online-video advertising marketplace by testing ad formats.

The project, dubbed “the Pool,” is the brainchild of Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest, which buys roughly $16 billion in U.S. ad time and space annually for big advertisers like Procter & Gamble.

Starcom MediaVest and sister agency VivaKi say they are trying to create standards in the online-video market, which is popular with consumers but hasn’t turned into a serious money maker.

The Pool, which includes six media companies and several marketers, such as Allstate, Capital One Financial and DineEquity’s Applebee’s, met in November, drew up a list of 30 online ad formats and whittled it down to five, which will be tested in focus groups this week. The two highest-scoring ad formats will be put into beta testing on the media companies’ sites. The Starcom MediaVest clients involved in the Pool have agreed to use the winning ad format and buy time on the media sites involved in the research.

This is a very exciting development and likely will be a great catalyst to help boost the online video market. The IAB put out their online video standards in August and the Pool is further momentum towards the standards that will drive this market forward. It’s very good news.

Next I hope we see a “pool” for social media, perhaps around engagement advertising?