Portal Mixes Up Do-It-Yourself Ads

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A new portal launching May 1 will enable small- and medium-sized business owners to efficiently make their own ads, to be placed on search sites and other destinations, such as cable operators’ Web sites.

The ads will transform static listings into ones with video streams that interested consumers can activate with a click of the mouse.

The service will be marketed both to the retail community and to businesses such as cable ad-sales departments, so staffers can offer the functionality to their local advertisers.

SpotMixer, the venture, is an extension of One True Media, a three-year-old Redwood City, Calif., firm formed to help Internet users create video content for social networking sites and YouTube.

The ad portal will offer potential advertisers access to licensed music, stock footage and other tools to flesh out their own TV-quality commercials.

In the four-step process, users first pick from a template of styles, such as “fun,” “traditional” and “vibrant.” Each style will have a library of images in that style, grouped by business categories, such as restaurants or beauty salons. Advertisers can upload their own digital pictures to form an ad storyboard, and tools allow users to crop and edit the pictures.

Advertisers also can record a voice-over, using tools at the site, or select and place music in the commercial.

There’s also a tool to allow the application of text across the bottom throughout the ad.

After reviewing their ad, a final application helps the businessperson upload the Internet ad to such search portals as Yahoo! or Citysearch. Placement terms are up to the local business owner, negotiating directly with the destination site.

One True Media vice president of marketing Brett Gardner said research by Google-owned DoubleClick indicates clickthroughs on video-enabled ads are four to seven times that of static banner ads.

Other research, from the Online Publishers Association, indicates that 52% of streamed-ad viewers take some affirmative action, such as calling a local telephone number, Gardner said.

SpotMixer will charge $79 for a month of commercial creation, including all the editing and revising a business might want, Gardner said. That rate drops to $69 each month for a three-month commitment; and $59 per month for a six-month commitment.

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