Oren Harnevo is CEO of Eyeview, a personalized video ad technology company.
Can you briefly discuss your background and inspiration for Eyeview?
OH: My vision for Eyeview began while I was simultaneously working on Bachelor’s degrees in Film and Television and Computer Science at Tel-Aviv University. I became fascinated with combining these two areas by producing and measuring the quality of creative video and its effect on viewers using optimization and analytics metrics. Tal Riesenfeld, Gal Barnea and I started the company by providing a service that measures the effect of a viewer watching a video on online. We saw a lot of positive impact, especially when targeting different videos to different users. The problem advertisers were facing was that generating several variations of a video was too expensive. Gradually, we realized that the true potential in the market was creating effective personalized videos in a cost effective way. Then, once we were ready with the technology and the online video advertising market was booming, we built a product to fit that market.
What problem is Eyeview solving?
The problem we are solving is that advertisers cannot reach their target audience with an effective, personalized message through video. They can do it with text and display but not video. Today, brands can only use the one-size -fits-all TV commercial and are not able to take full advantage of the targeting and personalization potential of the digital medium.
The complexity of video technology (as opposed to Flash and text), the importance of keeping the broadcast quality intact and the need to run anywhere with no integration make this a difficult problem to solve. Tackling these problems required years of development, but our product is now ready and solves all of these issues.
What is your competitive set and how do you differentiate?
There are a few companies out there who say they have a “dynamic video solution.” However, none of them provides a different commercial personalized for each user, none of them maintains broadcast quality and none of them can provide ads that can run anywhere, including online, mobile and connecTV. Currently, the market offers flash-based display/rich media solutions that are simply banners on top of videos; none that actually change the TV creative. These solutions are less effective especially for pre-rolls and long-form TV style advertising. Banners are usually ignored by users – only 2% of users actually see them. Eyeview gets 100% exposure for every view, with a personalized TV style commercial that includes voiceover and animation.
We believe online video is the future of TV, and that ads will be viewed leaning back on the sofa or chair, not with a hand on the mouse. We don’t believe in overlays, banners or clicks. We differentiate ourselves in three ways: we enable the customization of actual commercials, our technology is a post-production, server side technology, and we can scale – we must have our ads run everywhere, with no integration, and that means no flash.
Can you provide a use case on how the technology works? And how is it sold - CPM, license, etc.?
We have a campaign with a large brand that sells its product nationwide using more than 100 different resellers. They wanted to tell each viewer who the reseller is in their neighborhood, what is in stock in that store and the price. The brand wanted to run with the original TV asset, which was repurposed as a 30 second spot.
To provide a solution, we automatically pulled all the store and inventory information from the brands site. We took the TV asset and added a scene with this information, enhancing the quality of the creative while keeping the exact same look and feel. In less than four days, the media agency got a link to a video that they provided to all their publishers and networks. We charged a small fee for every impression – CPM business model.
Is there a target market that is particularly well-suited to Eyeview's product?
All ads can and should be personalized and we provide different products for different verticals. Here are some examples:
Entertainment: Tune-in with local stations including time zone and countdown to launch, movie trailers with local theatre and ticket information, local shows, countdown and ticket information
Retail: Local store location, deals, prices, product carousel, product retargeting, real-time deals, and events
CPG: Personalized ads using Facebook and other social information, demographically changing messages and products
We also offer products for auto, travel, quick service restaurants, telecom, finance, and more.
In general, do you think TV creative should drive online video creative? Or should it be created in separate silos?
TV is the best way to do video advertising and that’s not going to change in the next few years. However, young people today are starting to use digital solutions for viewing TV online, such as Apple TV, GoogleTV,Boxee, Hulu, Netflix, etc. But this still counts for less than 5% of the market. Therefore, in the near future, agencies will still focus most of their attention on creating traditional TV content. However, when these ads are repurposed to digital, there will be a new market for digital agencies to enhance that TV creative to a more effective and targeted digital video ad. We believe that customizing TV content to online will be a substantial focus for digital agencies and post-production houses. And these agencies will use Eyeview’s technologies.
Eyeview likely addresses branded offers and DR, but how does Eyeview address brand metrics?
Eyeview’s technology is not aimed towards branded offers or any type of direct response. Eyeview’s technology is about providing the right message to the right viewer at the right time. The lifts are in attitudes, relevancy, favorability and intent-to-purchase. Once the main concept of the video is created, we provide different targeted messages to different audience, additional relevant product information and information on where to purchase and at what price.
Digital video advertisement today is about branding. There is almost no DR portion because of the expensive CPMs.
How are clients measuring success with Eyeview beyond return-on-investment?
In order to measure the success of an online campaign with Eyeview, we use a combination of several things:
- Standard parameters: CTR and Quarterly Completion Rates
- The above standard parameters for every different video permutation we deliver
- An online real-time questionnaire that measures ad relevancy, purchase intent and brand favorability
- A/B test with the original TV ad against the personalized ad for all of the above measurements
The combination of all these metrics allows us to clearly measure the increase of the personalized portion and the overall effectiveness of the campaign.
Please discuss your company's funding.
Eyeview is backed by three VCs and a few angel investors. LightSpeed VC and Gemini Israeli Funds invested in us in the beginning and have recently been joined by Innovation Endeavors, a private fund of former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. Schmidt's fund is very involved in the company and is helping us go to market. We actually just closed another round of investment from all three funds. During the last year, we closed a total A round of $5M.