Other options for Web video

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Online ad formats generally can be broken out into four categories:

* In-stream pre-roll and post-roll clipped on to video content.

* In-page or in-banner, often expanding to take up more screen real estate when clicked on.

* Transitional ads that display "between" pages.

* "Floating" ads that display on-page over existing content or in a pop-up or pop-under window.

Vendors include: Klipmart, Viewpoint, Eyewonder, United Virtualities and Eyeblaster

Need To Know: These vendors and others have emerged to help advertisers create and deliver video advertising. Most offer multiple solutions targeting multiple ad formats. Some such as Klipmart, which lets viewers turn a banner-size video into full-screen with a click, bring unusual approaches to the video ads. Overall, winners and losers should start to become clear this year.

"Right now, there are a lot of comparable offerings out there," said Avenue A/ Razorfish's Mr. Lockhorn. The more interesting question may be whether the industry sticks to video just as a branding mechanism or adds a direct-response element to the mix.

"In the end, video is a branding medium," said Jupiter's Mr. Elliot. "If you are judging the impact of your video ad based on direct response results, you are probably doing something wrong. There is such a thing as direct-response video-Ron Popeil is the master of it."

Others see a larger role for a more interactive form of online video.

"At the end of the day, the great thing the Internet affords is interactivity or a dialog with customers," said Deep Focus' Mr. Schafer. "When advertisers make video plans, they should be sure to include an interactive element."

In the end, it may be that ability to measure results, whether as branding impact or direct responses, that represents the real leap forward for online video.

"There are all kinds of performance metrics possible, from how many seconds did the person interact with the video to which buttons did they interact with to did they forward the video to a friend and more," said Viewpoint's Allie Savarino. "We're getting closer and closer with online video to being able to understand a spot's true brand and purchase impact."

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