Friday, September 23, 2011

Start-Up Watch: SeamBI reinvents product placement in the shape of advertising placement

It has never ceased to amaze me that lots of companies are able to get their acts together sufficiently to purchase product placement opps months and months in advance. Oh, I understand why it makes sense to plan ahead – it’s just that I’ve been working in digital for so long. And digital is a space where people don’t understand why we cannot make a decision Tuesday and be in market by Friday with new creative.

A company called SeamBI has made important headway into changing the dynamics of product placement so that brands can purchase it in the same manner as they might ad placements. The idea behind SeamBI is to create ad avails within already shot content, and sell those to advertisers in the same way one might a standalone: 30. By integrating brand messages into the content, SeamBI executions mitigate the risks of DVR fast forwards and selective attention.

Theirs is essentially a three step process: The company identifies potential product placement opps within content, and creates flexible placement locations in the content. They make that potential inventory available in a sales platform, through which it can be sold to advertisers. Advertiser content is integrated seamlessly, and advertisers can be swapped in and out for different airings, etc. The ad-enhanced content is delivered to broadcasters for air.

One of the key values of this offering is that their technology makes it easy to integrate, customize and replace sponsored content quickly, and without involving costly custom graphics teams. Messages can be integrated regionally as well. An example they provide is running Hellmann’s Mayo on the East Coast, and Best Foods in the West. Probably the best way for me to communicate the creative possibilities here is to show you a demo video now:

As you can see from that example, SeamBI is adept at integrating these sorts of brand messages in ways that make them feel organically part of the content, while also standing out as real brand enhancers. There are two key types of SeamBI solutions: In Episode content is integrated into content, and appears on screen for between 20 and 120 seconds. Broadcasters and content owners can sell it solo or as part of integrated packages along with bona fide ad units. Sponsored Promos integrate marketer messages into a program’s daily promo messages. These too can be purchased separately or as part of integrated packages. 

Attractive, flexible, and with good noticing value. And by making the process simple as well as cost effective, SeamBI is changing the game for product placement, and making it possible for ad dollars to shift into this fascinating communications arena.

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