Samsung backs AOL video ad unit launch

Nike, Samsung and Italian football team AS Roma are among the first brands to initially back the launch of AOL’s new content marketing service Be On, as the online advertising company eyes an increased share of TV ad budgets.

AOL launches Be On.

Samsung and its online media-buying agency Starcom Mediavest will be the first to launch a Be On campaign with a campaign to promote the manufacturer’s flagship Galaxy S4 kicking off on from May 1.

The football team and its recently-announced kit sponsor Nike have been named as the first brands to launch a global campaign on Be On, with a video marking the 20-year career of Roma legend Francesco Totti, see above.

Be On, announced today (30 April), lets brands create and syndicate online video ad campaigns, plus measure their effectiveness, across AOL’s network of sites which commands an audience of over 900 million users according to the company.

The new service is the result of the merger of AOL’s existing video distribution service Goviral which is now to be retired as a brand and its studio production service. The new measurement tool now lets brands access analytics, such as brand uplift and purchase intent measurement, in real-time.

René Rechtman, AOL Networks International, senior vice president, says the formation of the new business was not the result of a restructure, nor did it involve the loss of jobs from the existing Goviral or AOL Studio units.

“This is the launch of an entirely new business. When we first launched Goviral we always wanted to distribute content but the budgets where not there,” he says.

However, the emergence of smartphone and tablet devices is spurring an shift in consumer behaviour meaning more traditional TV audiences are migrating to watch content online.

“In the same way that broadband changed consumer behaviour, new devices [such as smartphones and tablets] are having a similar effect,” argues Rechtman, adding that 25 per cent of views on its network are from mobile devices. This goes up to 45 per cent when tablets are included.

“We’re going after the TV buyers now… forget about push ads, it’s about pull now,” he adds.

AOL is not currently offering financial incentives to brands for purchasing campaigns at launch and is currently in talks with media buying agencies as well as directly with brands to book additional campaigns.

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