BT is taking its first steps into advertiser-funded content by offering free films to people willing to accept ads from brands such as Renault, Coors and Norwich Union. It is thought that it will be the first broadcaster in Europe to offer users free download films in exchange for receiving ads.
BT is launching a three-month trial in which users of BT Vision’s Download Store will be able to watch three Freemantle films – Mischief Night, Played and The Punk Rock Movie – free. At the time of renting, customers will be requested to download video software that asks the viewer a number of questions, including age range and sex, before selecting relevant ads for each person.
During the film, viewers will see three ad breaks – each up to one minute long – showing two different ads. Once downloaded, the film will be available for one month and at each viewing different ads will be shown.
Viewers can also send the films to friends, who will be asked the same questions in order to provide them with relevant ads, via e-mail.
BT says the three films were chosen to allow brands to target different film genres, from comedy, action/thriller and music documentary.
BT Vision interactive and commercial media director Antony Carbonari adds: “We believe that sympathetically placed targeted advertising, combined with a viral film-sharing capability, will be attractive to many customers in conjunction with free or reduced content prices.”
Meanwhile, Aegis Group has won a place on BT’s roster after being appointed to handle media planning and buying for the trial following a pitch against undisclosed agencies.