Yahoo partners with Starcom to produce personalized video ads

Today, Yahoo announced a one-year deal with agency Starcom, where the two companies will partner to create video ads based on Yahoo user data.

The one-year partnership was revealed by Yahoo on its advertising blog, which says the deal is a way to utilize Yahoo’s huge data resources to produce personalized branded video content.

“By coming together in a unique data-driven approach, Yahoo and Starcom will use viewership data as well as brands’ audience data to create and target video content based on the topics we know are resonating with consumers, spanning categories like comedy, entertainment, finance, sports, health and wellness.”

Put simply, Yahoo needs good quality video content, and Starcom, which produces that content for some big name brands (such as Allstate, Kraft, Kellogg’s, and Jim Beam,) needs access to valuable user data for that content to be effective. And when it comes to data, Yahoo should have plenty of it.

The company may not be the search engine powerhouse it once was, but it has tons of great content across all its news, sports, finance and entertainment sites. According to comScore, it was the most visited site in the US in July and August, beating even Google. By tracking user behavior across its properties, it can come up with a pretty good idea of what they’re interested in seeing and what the relevant topics are.Speaking to AdAge Yahoo senior VP and head of the Americas Ned Brody said Yahoo is “the only company able to link premium advertising opportunities like video with search terms. Not only what someone clicked upon, but what they searched for.” 

It’s not just Yahoo’s data that Starcom gets access to. The agency creatives will also be able to make use of Yahoo’s content studio to create original video.

Which is all well and good, however, what are these new, personalized video ads going to look like, and where will they run? The videos on Yahoo Screen are a natural fit, since it is where Yahoo host much of its original and curated content. It wouldn’t be too jarring to see a pre-roll ad for AllState insurance run before you watch a viral video or entertainment clip. But what about the rest of Yahoo’s sites where the content is text-based? The clips could pop-up annoyingly in the middle of you reading an article on Yahoo news or sports, which is far less effective. 

However, Yahoo has been making some big investments in original video content, hiring David Pogue from the NYTimes to continue his weirdly entertaining tech reviews, and TV powerhouse Katie Couric for a new web-based talk show. With more of its own video content, Yahoo will have better display channels for these new personalized ads, and we can expect more original content to host them.

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