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Now playing: Yahoo explores video

Yahoo VP of brand packaging solutions Erika Nardini discusses how the portal incorporates branded video through a partnership with GroupM. 

Q: Has Yahoo noticed a blurring of the lines between advertising and content?

A: We’re really focused on creating rich and meaningful experiences for consumers and leveraging power of our programming. We believe brands can play a role in producing those experiences with us. Consumers are savvy, and we’re creating a great consumer experience while also delivering a great brand experience.

Q: How are interactive marketing and digital advertising evolving?

A: We’re seeing great evolution and experimentation around how performance-driven advertising is moving forward. There’s also great evolution in branded and emotional experiences, which is what we’re focused on with this partnership. We need to think about how we can refine digital advertising and technology to encourage consumers to take an action offline and think about how messaging and traditional media translate to digital, dynamic environments.

Q: How will you get people to the pages?

A: The ways in which we traffic will be multifaceted. We’ll place banner ads throughout relevant areas on Yahoo. We’ll also make the content visible through syndicating, as well as by targeting rich ad media units with content in them to relevant audiences for each particular brand. Our Yahoo front page is also a great vehicle to steer traffic throughout Yahoo.

Q: How will brands be presented on each Web site page?

A: We’ll create associated media vehicles, such as post-roll video spots. We’re thinking about ways that the programming maps to a brand’s communication objective, and how brands subtlety play a role in the content itself. It varies by brand and topic, though. The way a brand plays a role in entertainment content is different from how it plays a role in more sensitive topics like health and wellness.

Q: How important is the brand aspect of these new initiatives?

A: It’s challenging to walk the line of how much branding is too much and how much is not enough. There’s so much potential for the ways that this content can be developed, so restraint becomes a big challenge. Search and behavioral data are readily available, which helps us program content that we know will be relevant.

Q: What are some challenges to branding with this approach?

A: The other challenge is finding the types of ideas that are going to resonate best and what the creative formats are, like Web video, that really create an experience on par with a television.

Q: What should media companies and brands focus on when trying to meet these challenges?

A: There are multiple cooks in the kitchen, but it’s about meeting the needs of the one person who isn’t there in the planning stages: the consumer.

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