May 14, 2007 – Creative Showcase: See how Hyundai's clickable video-based micro-site enables deeper exploration of the new Veracruz and provides a more compelling research experience for users.
Creative Agency: Carat Fusion
Media Agency: Jumpstart Automotive Media, HowStuffWorks/Consumer Guide Automotive
Technology Vendor: Vimation
The challenge here was to help unveil the brand new Hyundai Veracruz online by leveraging its announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (NAIAS). Hyundai and partner Carat Fusion did this by launching a first-of-its-kind video portal.
Jumpstart Automotive Media, in conjunction with partner How Stuff Works/Consumer Guide Automotive, provided a film crew on the floor of the Detroit auto show to shoot the original video contained in the player. Vimation was then enlisted to create and host the Veracruz interactive player utilizing the company's VIM clickable video technology.
The resulting Veracruz interactive video player provides a compelling and innovative way for Hyundai customers and prospects to research the Veracruz. It incorporates one main and seven sub clickable videos for the viewer to research features and benefits of the all-new 2007 Veracruz SUV. While watching the main video that highlights general features, the viewer can select a topic of interest and, when prompted, click on the video to explore additional sub videos highlighting Veracruz's key features, which were filmed separately with a tighter focus.
Not only is this a very innovative product, but the reporting available is expansive and valuable to the client. More than 40 metrics will be measured on a real-time basis, including repeat visitors, which videos are being viewed the most, how long each video is viewed, how often an interactive element is clicked and the location where each viewer is watching.
-- Chad Beasley, VP of sales and creative development, Jumpstart Automotive Media
This Hyundai micro-site does not have an advergame, viral component, user-generated content or even a way to send the site to a friend. This site is straightforward and demonstrates all of the benefits of the design, performance and safety of the Hyundai Veracruz. It does this through an elegant and professional display of video of the car itself in every detail.
If the target audience is luxury car aficionados who love to dig deep into the detail elements of the product, this micro-site accomplishes the goal. I just recently bought a car (full disclosure: it was a sporty new Prius), and wanted to understand all the features and benefits, but I also liked the online experience of feeling what it'd be like to drive the car and seeing a user-directed, 360 degree view of every angle of the car.
In a time where car manufacturers are going over the top with overly dynamic flash sites, this micro-site cuts to the chase and informs the buyer on what he needs to get him into a dealer for a test drive.
-- Ryan Buchanan, CEO, eROI
In a YouTube world, presenting a car's features in video makes a lot of sense. Video is the easiest media to digest. And let's face it, when you're selling something, you want the potential buyer as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
It's interesting to see the entire site devoted to video. While the site is clearly a sell for the 2007 Hyundai Veracruz, the URL is from a third party -- Jumpstart Automotive -- as something of a report from the Detroit auto show. This may add some objectivity, for anyone who notices the URL, although ideally they should push this more in one of two directions: make it more of a report from the auto show, or integrate this type of footage into a more complete sell from Hyundai.
For user experience, I think the navigation could be stronger. Getting a better scope of the video content up front would provide some needed context. And while video is powerful, I'm left wanting more information. Again, a reason to have this type of content integrated into a more complete site for the car, or at least provide links off the site to get that info.
As a trend, video brochures are a… oh what's the term… a slam dunk! There's clearly a lot of potential for how this information could be presented, who it's presented by and, probably before long, a complete user-generated video car brochure contest.
-- Doug Schumacher, president, Basement, Inc.
A little over a year ago I posed the question of "Who Would Own Video" from an agency perspective, traditional or digital? Renetta McCann was one of the first to challenge digital agencies by stating, "The Starcom MediaVest division charged with buying ad time used to be called the broadcast investment group; today it's the video investment group. … We didn't want to limit how we view the market… We see a world populated by video screens, not just TV screens, but screens on phones, computers and even screens in elevators and cabs."
This was a powerful signal that agencies had begun the long-awaited shift away from broadcast TV-driven video to other platforms that could become mainstream advertising vehicles. But it also brought up the issue of whether traditional agencies could stake the advertising ground in digital video platforms. Let's face it, traditional shops know how to slap a 15- or 30-second spot in the front, middle and the back of rich video content, but they never stray too far from that strategy.
In the last year we've learned that although pre-roll is an opportunity and works nicely in some cases, it definitely shouldn't be the stand-alone option or video advertising model moving forward. Pre-roll was a great beginning to online video advertising, but in the interactive space we live in, it's not necessary to be overly invasive in order to provide a marketing message.
Even the largest video channels on the web agree. "We think there are better ways for people to engage with brands than forcing them to watch a commercial before seeing content," says Chad Hurley, YouTube's CEO. "You could ask anyone on the net if they enjoy that experience and they'd probably say no."
Separately, Tremor and Brightcove recently announced plans to begin addressing issues facing the digital video advertising industry as part of the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Digital Video Committee, including measurement, standards and best practices. As a first step toward this goal, all ads sold under the new agreement will be 15 seconds or less in duration. Other areas of focus will include frequency and rotation management of ad creative.
The automotive vertical in particular is providing quality online video advertising opportunities beyond pre-roll. These developments move away from traditional linear video and evasive pre-roll content into complete consumer empowerment through interactivity. Video is now working harder for the marketer while concurrently enhancing the user experience with brands both inside and out of the video itself. Here are several examples:
Road & Track/Brightcove. Road & Track sends a writer, photographer and film producer on location in order to build this "pure for web" immersive content. The portal, powered by Brightcove, allows three and/or advertising opportunities: pre-roll, 300x250 and a "featured video" sponsorship.
Vehix Video Buying Guides. These are the first interactive video buying guides for the auto category -- co-produced under partnership with J.D. Power and Associates -- which feature 30 minutes of proprietary content on key automotive topics. Consumers control the viewing experience by selecting individual chapters, topics and advertisements they want to see on their terms. The flash overlay technology developed by Vimation includes a pre-loader graphic, companion bug and extensive video-within-video.
Vimation/Lincoln Lounge. This gives consumers the opportunity to dive into a 30-second spot, and for Lincoln it provides for a nice continuation of its overall branding efforts. It also gives consumers a great deal of insight through commentaries from the directors, actors and musicians, as well as the stories behind the film locations. Multiple videos and video-within-video give a behind-the-scenes look at the commercial, giving consumers the opportunity to get additional relevant information way beyond what a typical 30-second branding spot can provide.
DriverTV. DriverTV is an automotive destination that prides itself on bringing the showroom to your living room. Available through video-on-demand systems, it provides high quality video and visual tools and allows for "branded content" video channels, a 160x600 companion and a pre-load full-screen interstitial. DriverTV and Comcast are well positioned to parlay this content into VOD environments and ultimately iTV in the near future.
Car & Driver's Virtual Test Drive. (or select any of the three on this page). This manufacturer-sponsored area sets out to provide immersive "ride along" videos on some of today's newest cars and trucks. Consumers are able to explore new vehicles, both inside and out, while Car & Driver editors go along for a test drive with noted race driver Tommy Kendall behind the wheel. While no obvious ad units are provided, the user is engaged with the brand during a real-life test drive environment and is provided with interior/exterior features and specs.
All signs are pointing to digital media leading the online video and emerging platforms strategy and vision moving forward. The digital space is known for always changing and that includes ad units… tirelessly trying to innovate and progress. The next 12 months will be exciting to see what automotive video advertising brings and how we continue to deliver a truly immersive experience addressing both the emotional and analytical sides of the car-buying process.