Real-Time YouTube Integrations Just for You

Media Morph: In-Video Product Placement

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'Watchmen' on YouTube
THE PREMISE: Online video advertising is, for the most part, stuck in the past, with the only significant innovation being the kind of bottom-third transparent overlays popularized by YouTube and Google. But what if ads, product placements or other messages were implanted in the video, in real time?

WHO'S DOING IT: A host of start-ups are attempting to make that happen, including New York and Tel Aviv-based Innovid, which has two live campaigns that integrate products, into video. Other players in this space include Mountain View, Calif.-based KeyStream, whose technology identifies blank areas in web video and automatically inserts logos or messages; and a recently funded start-up out of Stanford University, Zunavision, which can realistically place messages on surfaces within video. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Euclid Media, founded by UC Berkeley computer science Ph.D.'s, claims the ability to put messages on moving objects within video.

AN EXAMPLE, PLEASE: For Warner Bros., Innovid is placing "Watchmen" posters and other promotions across series from web-video producer For Your Imagination, including "Kyle Piccolo -- Comic Shop Therapist," "The Retributioners" and "Abigail's X-Rated Teen Diary." The videos are syndicated across the web on sites such as YouTube.

Posters in Kyle Piccolo's comic-book shop, for example, change from "X-Men" to "The Watchmen," depending on who is watching and what placements they've already seen. "Watchmen" graffiti appears on a wall and "Watchmen" videos and comic books appear on shelves. When clicked, they interrupt the video for more information about the movie.

There are seven integrations, some hard to catch if you're not watching closely. "We chose a subtle implementation instead of something very obvious saying, "Click me!" said Paul Kontonis, chief executive of For Your Imagination.

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