Posted by:on July 14th, 2014
Targeted advertising is nothing new. Google keeps track of what you search for and shows you ads based on what it thinks you might be inclined to buy. It’s old hat, but this weekend I saw an interesting application. As I waited to click through the pre-roll ad on a Portland Timbers video, the content caught my attention. Lately I’ve been getting a few skateboard related pre-rolls. I can’t remember for what exactly, it might have been Vans, Converse SG, or possibly Levis with skateboarding, but this one was different. It was a amateur video montage of a kid skateboarding. Low and behold it’s Schaeffer McLean, the same kid form the janky indoor ramp video. I watched the whole thing (Well 99%) waiting for the product placement or a call to action but it never came. The web link associated with the video took me to Schaeffer’s Youtube user page, which is written in the third person, so one has to assume it’s run by his parents. Those video ads aren’t free, someone has to pay for them. So what is he selling? There are two possibilities, either he’s trying to drive traffic to the user channel and generate revenue through inline ad views, or he’s looking for sponsorship opportunities. It might just be the first paid “Sponsor Me” advertisement, but how many team managers are scouring YouTube for unsolicited new team members? I suppose there is a third less cynical option. Maybe the parents just want to (pay to) share their child’s love of skateboarding with the world.
The pre-roll ad had a running time of 2:49, but this video from Schaeffer’s channel has the same title, soundtrack, and footage with a longer run time.
Do you hate pre-roll ads? Me too, but somebody has to pay for all that bandwidth. Here’s a story about another unique adaptation of the medium.
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