Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): Universal, Warner Bros., "Vampire Diaries," YuMe

--Universal to Offer New Eddie Murphy Movie on VOD Just Three Weeks after Theatrical Premiere
--Warner Bros. Launches "Vampire Diaries" Facebook Game
--YuMe Unveils New Interactive/Social Cross-Platform Video Advertising Products

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Universal Pictures is teaming with its corporate parent, Comcast, on a premium VOD test that will see it making its new Eddie Murphy movie, "Tower Heist," available to 500,000 Comcast subs in Atlanta and Portland, Oregon three weeks after its November 4th theatrical premiere, the Los Angeles Times' Ben Fritz reported Thursday. The VOD version of the movie will be priced at $59.99, and Universal Pictures is expected to allow other pay-TV operators to participate in the test on the same terms as Comcast. The test "marks the first time a major studio movie will be available to watch in-home while still playing in thousands of theaters," Fritz observes.
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has launched "The Vampire Diaries: Get Sucked In," a free Facebook game for its series, "The Vampire Diaries" (airs on The CW Network). The game "extends the supernatural story of the TV series about two vampire brothers who fall in love with the same beautiful girl," Warner Bros. states in its press materials. "Players begin their own journey of discovery as they explore the town of Mystic Falls and complete missions given to them by characters from the TV series. These missions lead players deeper into the mysteries and events that are unraveling in this pleasant, yet dangerous town...Players will explore the world of 'The Vampire Diaries' using the game's interactive map to move through key locations and uncover dark secrets about the town and its residents, playing games that test their knowledge of The Vampire Diaries along the way and using Facebook credits to purchase in-game items to complete collections, open special prize chests and unlock new areas on the map." Said Warner Bros. Television Group chief marketing officer, Lisa Gregorian: "'The Vampire Diaries: Get Sucked In' allows fans to participate in a social game that extends beyond The CW's Thursday episode broadcast and provides an immersive experience for them to visit the world of Mystic Falls--populated with the characters they love--all week. The game is fang-tastic."
  • Multiscreen video advertising technology provider, YuMe, has announced the availability of new interactive/social cross-platform video ad products (collectively dubbed "YuMe Ads"), which it says are designed to increase the brand-engagement impact of video advertising. "YuMe Ads...consists of an entirely new base pre-roll unit that features automatic hooks into Facebook, Twitter, YouTube campaigns and features supplemental brand awareness and response elements," the company states in its press materials. "Additionally, other units in the YuMe ad portfolio include Ready-Made, quick to market experiences that incorporate key interactive features, and a brand new Custom-Made offering that lets brands create one-of-a-kind video advertising experiences. YuMe's unique player technology and video ad framework enables brands to offer interactive experiences natively on publisher sites, providing advertisers with scale across three screens--mobile, online and TV, reaching audiences wherever they are consuming video content...YuMe Ads includes three distinct category ad offerings with interactivity and standardized cross-platform compatibility: 1) YuMe Pre-Roll: Enhances traditional pre-roll and supports up to three interactivity options, from a rich set of options, with zero turnaround time and no pricing surcharge. Optional interactions include: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Special Offers, and Store/Dealer Locator and more. 2) Ready-Made: Quick-to-market for advanced mix-and-match capability and builds off existing pre-roll video with support for special in-player Web API integrations (Twitter, Google, YouTube, etc.). 3) Custom-Made: Built-to-order signature ad units with massive in-player interaction and flexibility around branding. Also supports special in-player Web API integrations...As brands build extensive campaigns that encompass Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social content sites, video campaigns are an important portal into their broader campaigns. With the new YuMe pre-roll, brands will be able to select up to three optional links as overlay buttons on their video ads, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, other Web sites, offers, and dealer/retail information. This format replaces the current pre-roll format from YuMe and commands the same CPM as a traditional video-only pre-roll...Ready-made ad units extend flexibility for multiple video combinations, enabling the addition of sophisticated animations, social and interactive features, and supplemental videos and even rendering a microsite experience in the player. Encompassing some of YuMe's most popular formats such as PowerRoll, an interactive banner across the bottom of the pre-roll, and InSynch formats that synchronize with other elements of a page, ready-made ad units now include more interactivity and extend to the mobile environment with all new Tap2Motion and 2Motion ad units. Custom-made ads provide a wholly unique experience, enabling endless creative options specific to the brand and their desired viewer experience. In addition, YuMe's built-in advanced analytics track all user interactions and provide multi-level insight to marketers seeking to measure their brand impact, such as interaction rates, brand lift, campaign ROI and overall viewer engagement."
North America