Virgin Media to run on demand ads

November 25, 2009

Virgin Media has announced plans to insert dynamic advertising onto its on demand platform. Advertisements from leading brands including L’Oreal, Sony Ericsson, Kellogg’s and Microsoft will appear around content from Living, Virgin 1 and Bravo. All of the channels involved belong to the Virgin Media TV stable.

The service will commence later this month with a rollout to 300,000 of the 3.7 million homes within the Virgin VOD footprint. It follows an advertising trial earlier this year in North London: Virgin reported a 62% increase in the spontaneous awareness of brands and products among the trialists, awareness of individual ads increased by 27%.

“With over 66 million views of on demand content each month, there is a clear opportunity for on demand television to deliver relevant and effective ads to a growing audience,” said Cindy Rose, executive director of TV at Virgin Media. “We saw a positive viewer response when we trialled dynamic advertising earlier this year and our customers welcomed campaigns that worked within the context of the programme they’d chosen to watch.”

Contextually based thirty-second pre-roll and post-roll ads will be matched to the programme being watched as opposed to the demographic of the subscriber. Advertising has been largely absent from Virgin’s on demand content, the exception being Channel 4, which has been responsible for its own advertising and insertion.

The Virgin system that uses SeaChange International’s AdPulse means advertising spots can be changed at any time, rather than assigning a particular ad to a piece on content. Virgin Media is also working with SeaChange’s On Demand Group (ODG) for content aggregation.