Sightly Launches Localized Video Ad Product

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SightlyAdvertisers have long latched onto video as an effective medium, from traditional television commercials to digital streaming sites. Now, video advertising technology company Sightly, a partner of Google and YouTube, is introducing a new platform targeting local communities and, ultimately, the individual consumer.

This morning the San-Diego-based company launched TargetView, a new product that will allow local branches of national advertising agencies, small agencies, and SMB marketing teams to develop and deliver localized content on YouTube, Google Display, and social media. Using IP and GPS information, individual ads and campaigns will be able to cater to potential customers in specific locations.

“This is centered around the concept that, in the very near future, commercials are going to be created just for you,” Sightly CEO John McIntyre told Street Fight. “Commercials will cater to you, the device you’re on and the location you’re at. This is the first step in making that vision a reality.”

TargetView rides two trends: the increasing presence of video ads (35 billion were watched in December last year in the U.S. alone) and the shift in audience behavior from television to mobile viewing. Though not yet connected with the sensor technology that delivers content based on physical detection, McIntyre sees a future there: “As more [sensor] devices are installed that identify customers, our engine becomes that much more powerful.”

Advertisements, especially video ads, are generally seen as a necessary evil, a brief interruption in media content consumption. With the new product, McIntyre hopes to challenge the long-ingrained assumption by tailoring the content to a localized audience.

“Personally, as a consumer, I’m far more engaged when I’m seeing and experiencing ads for local businesses,” McIntyre said. “There’s a relationship being built.”

McIntyre said that locally targeted video advertising has previously languished on the national level because companies didn’t see the ROI in the creation of localized ads for such hyper-targeted audiences. However, he believes that the opportunity is starting to emerge, largely because the bigger players have begun to invest in reaching the market of much smaller advertisers.

“Google really became the giant they are because they created systems that allowed them to access the long tail of local,” McIntyre said. “There’s a very strong incentive to find and support partners like Sightly to help them reach those very valuable customers. As recently as December, they were sitting down with us and talking about how they believe the market is ripe for our platform — ‘Ripe is not a strong enough word,’ that’s a direct quote from them. They see local as this massive, untapped audience of video users.”

McIntyre says Sightly has found that personalized content can boost response rates by as much as 200 percent: “It’s no longer just about targeting demographics,” McIntyre said. “It’s about what the consumers are doing, how they’re behaving and where they’re geographically located.”

Annie Melton is a reporter at Street Fight.