Want to Be in an Ad?

Media Morph: Personiva

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YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) -- Every week Ad Age Digital's Media Morph looks at how emerging technology is changing the way consumers get their information and media companies and advertisers present their messages. This week: Personiva.
Personiva allows users to insert photos of themselves into customized ads, then post them on their web pages or e-mail them to friends.
Personiva allows users to insert photos of themselves into customized ads, then post them on their web pages or e-mail them to friends.

What it is: A way to put yourself in a marketer's ad. Personiva is a software-technology company co-founded by a pair of former TV directors and producers. Users can insert photos of themselves into customized ads, then post them on their web pages or e-mail them to friends. While the final product looks complicated, it's easy enough that even non-techies can do it.

Who's using it: The company has created interactive ad campaigns for Hewlett-Packard and Levi's that allow users to insert their own photos into ad content. The Levi's ad is an actual TV commercial called "Jeans Thief." Personiva is prepping another Levi's spot called "Straight Walk," in which a couple walks through buildings to get to each other, for an October debut.

What's next: Interactive ad agencies have come a-calling; CEO and co-founder Yogesh Sharma said he expects a handful of campaigns to break before the end of the year using the Personiva platform. Personiva still plans to work directly with marketers as well, and has several campaigns set to debut this fall for an as-yet-unnamed beverage, career website and pet-food brands.

Cost: Personiva's revenue stream includes licensing fees, creative fees and fees to monitor and maintain campaigns. Average costs range from $100,000 to $500,000, Mr. Sharma said. And marketers will like this: Part of Personiva's revenue is linked to the number of ads created, a purposefully built-in return-on-investment metric.

Why it matters: Consumer-generated media is real, so why not figure out how (or if) it can work for your brand? The intent is to blend user-generated content and brands." Our approach is all about the personalization of content, and for us, advertising is content -- and entertainment," Mr. Sharma said. "Personalization is here to stay."
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