AOL Debuts Video Formats That Augment Pre-Roll Spots

aolAOL Platforms moved five video formats out of beta on Thursday, an update to the pre-roll format that dominates video advertising.

The interactive video ads will run across AOL properties such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and, and publisher partner video content, via AOL’s video content service, AOL On. The ads are available programmatically through AOL’s ONE by AOL platform.

“This is a culmination of what AOL’s been building for the last five years,” said David Miller, AOL’s VP of advertising product management. He added that the video spots mimic AOL’s past efforts to create larger, more immersive and engaging display units.

The spots offer interactive elements designed to drive engagement – for example, the ability to interlay media galleries, a store locator, polls and quizzes, coupons or movie show times.

Here are the units:

Linear Expandable lets users interact with an in-video banner ad that leads to an expandable microsite.

Linear Modules lets advertisers embed modules into video ads to let allow viewers to interact with brands.

The Linear Sequence format adds an end frame once a video ad has completed.

Branded Slate lets advertisers interject a 7seven-second branding animation before video content begins.

And Branded Skip lets viewers choose to continue watching or skip a video ad, after which advertisers can solicit feedback.

According to Miller, the data from these formats will feed into an internal creative platform within AOL ONE. Miller didn’t say more about what this platform does, though he indicated the company will make additional announcements about it over the coming months.

ONE by AOL is also adding metrics specific to video, such as viewability.

“We will aggregate it on a category bias,” explained Miller. “But it’s not information we will share with anyone other than the advertiser.

Havas beta tested the formats and will be running them on behalf of a pay-TV company. Another unnamed client is reportedly a large automotive company.

Additionally, through ONE by AOL, the new video units are available beyond AOL-owned and operated properties to third-party partner sites.

“If any advertisers are looking to take these creatives to a third-party ad server or to third-party site,” he said, “we’re open to those sorts of relationships.”

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