MTV Networks, Target Partner on New Interactive Online Video Advertising Format, "The Scrubber"

MTV Networks and big-box retailer, Target, said Monday that they are partnering on a new interactive online video advertising format, called "The Scrubber." According to the companies, The Scrubber--a custom video player that allows advertisers to insert brand or product icons into its playback timer--can be used to "tell a marketing story that unfolds over the course of the viewing experience," and is designed to be "interactive, contextually relevant and non-interruptive."

The name "Scrubber" refers specifically to a branded, ball-shaped icon which, as the video plays, scrolls from left to right through the playback bar at the bottom of the player, crossing over small product images (MTV says that The Scrubber is based on what it calls "story engine" technology). Each time it intersects with a product image, a message overlay launches and invites viewers to play with, get more information on, or purchase the featured product. For Target, The Scrubber video player was customized to reflect the retailer's bulls-eye logo (via the scrubber ball) and color scheme. According to MTV, the Scrubber will be loaded with products relevant to each of its various audiences: thus, on MTV.com, for example, it will highlight Target's line of entertainment and fashion products. The Scrubber format also gives viewers the option of clicking directly on the product images--or fast-forwarding the video to them--in order to launch their associated overlays. "Whether it's messaging, design or delivery, Target is tops at innovating in marketing while maintaining a strong focus on the consumer," Jason Witt, SVP and general manager of MTV Networks' online advertising and marketing unit, Digital Fusion, said in a prepared statement. "With Target, we've developed an entirely new way to deliver retail messages through short-form online video, and the result is better advertising with greater impact."

According to MTV, The Scrubber was developed using feedback from Project Inform, a recent study in which the broadcaster identified ad packages and formats that rank highly in audience likeability and marketer-effectiveness. Demo videos of The Scrubber are available at http://www.mtvndigitalfusion.com/target/demo/file/Scrubber.wmv and at http://www.mtvndigitalfusion.com/target/demo/file/Scrubber.mov

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