Google Taps SpotMixer Tools for Online Video Ads

Picture 10SpotMixer, for those who don’t know it, is a DIY video creation platform. I first wrote about the company and competitor Mixpo in March, 2008.

In January of this year Google announced a partnership with SpotMixer (a unit of One True Media), integrating the latter’s DIY ad creation tools and content into the TV Ads marketplace (SpotMixer is the only DIY platform Google has autorized so far). And just as Google TV Ads has expanded to online video sites and the Google Content Network, SpotMixer is now available on that side of the house to, so to speak.

In other words, SpotMixer DIY tools can be used to create online video ads or repurpose and edit existing TV assets. Here’s a succinct description of the deal from an advance copy of tomorrow’s press release:

Following Google TV Ads’ successful partnership with SpotMixer announced in January 2009, SpotMixer’s technology is now being integrated into another Google advertising offering. SpotMixer’s innovative DIY ad creation platform – the only one to be integrated into both Google TV Ads and the Google Content Network – automatically converts an advertiser’s existing AdWords text ad into a tailored video ad within the advertiser’s AdWords account. The solution dynamically changes templates and content to ensure that each video is different. Customers can further customize their ads by adding their own photos and video and incorporating a voiceover. The result is a professional-quality, high-performing video ad at a fraction of the cost of traditional video production.

Here are some example ads from SpotMixer:

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SpotMixer came somewhat later to the online video ad market and competes with a range of providers: Jivox, Mixpo, Spotzer, Turn Here, Spot Runner, FourSpots and several others. But the site has distinguished itself through this Google relationship.

One of the striking things about SpotMixer that it uses templates to convert existing AdWords campaign text copy into a video ads automatically, although this capability is not entirely unique to SpotMixer. The marketer can then customize and change the ad if it/he/she wants to.

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SpotMixer VP Kathleen Farley told me that on the Google TV Ads side about “95%” of advertisers using the SpotMixer platform did actually customize their campaigns with new images, audio and/or ad copy. In some cases they used audio from existing radio campaigns. This high rate of customization is interesting in the context of the ongoing “push vs. pull” debate around sales and self-service in the small business market. AdWords marketers are a motivated group, however, so I’m not entirely surprised that the numbers are this high.

Advertisers could simply create a single campaign for online and TV. But there are differences between the mediums that implicate audience attention, ad length and tolerance of ads (depending on the context). Accordingly, I asked Farley and CEO John Love about creative “best practices.” After all it’s one thing to simply create a video (the automated creative is a slide show with audio) and another thing to run an effective TV or online video campaign. They said that the templates were being regularly optimized to incorporate best practices and learnings (sorry) from campaigns in the market.

SpotMixer has also partnered with Google on an SMB video ad contest that runs through mid-October. It offers a $25k prize (credits toward national TV ads) for  the best video ad created with the SpotMixer tools.

Here’s a video explanation of the original SpotMixer-Google TV Ads deal and how the tools work:

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