SMG teams up for ‘The Pool’

Collaborative project seeks to develop more appealing ad models, and a more appetizing online environment.

Since the launch of premium online video content, advertising dollars have increasingly been moving to the medium, albeit often in experimentation, says Chicago-based Starcom Mediavest Group SVP video innovations director, Tracey Scheppach. Now SMG, in a project called The Pool, wants to eliminate some of the risk by creating an industry standard for new advertising models.

‘It doesn’t mean we don’t believe in the value of special projects and special creative – it’s that we’re looking for the workhorse,’ Scheppach tells MiC. ‘Ideally we would like to follow the viewer where they go, in a more tactful and better built model.’

The initial phase of the multi-year project, which is a partnership between SMG and VivaKi, a Publicis Groupe umbrella entity that oversees digital assets of its subsidiaries, focuses on online video concepts with SMG clients like Allstate, Applebee’s, Capital One and Nestle Purina. It might take about a year of research for The Pool to iron out a model for online video before moving on to other phases that include advanced TV, mobile media and social networking.

‘I don’t think the pre-roll keeps up with all of the potential online,’ says Scheppach, about the current standard for 30-second broadband ads, modelled after television.

By offering a concept that most benefits the consumer, a standard would also benefit media buyers in the US, Canada, or abroad, says Scheppach. ‘Things move quicker when there is a small menu of what we know is successful,’ she says.

Youtube, one of the biggest online video players, hasn’t signed on for the ad standards-development project yet, but The Pool is keeping the door open and remains confident in future collaboration.