Why active attention is critical for unlocking the value of interactive video

Digiday

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As advertisers seek ways to better engage with their audiences, they are turning to interactive video for open two-way, non-intrusive conversations with their customers.

In another boon to advertisers, this interactive approach to video also equips marketers with insights from consumers’ organic interactions — insights that are especially critical as the attention economy becomes more important, brands work to cut through the advertising clutter, and first-party strategies become increasingly essential. 

“For brands, it will forever be about the consumer journey,” said Jay Wolff, Chief Revenue Officer at KERV. “For video, it’s how sight, sound and motion make the consumer feel and drive intent or a feeling for that brand. 

“Making video interactive — especially objects and scenes — and measuring and quantifying engagement using interactive data helps an advertiser follow a consumer’s journey with their brand,” he said. “So if a brand wants to think about making video work harder and smarter, they really have to think about the benefits of making video interactive and honing in on authentic actions and attention.”

Organic user actions are creating unique data points for brands

With interactive video, there are multiple opportunities for consumers to hover over or click various objects in a video — whether users are engaged on TV, mobile or desktop. These meaningful, action-based metrics garnered from interactive video allow marketers to tie consumers’ specific actions to ads more effectively — a critical consideration as both brands and consumers tighten their budgets.

“In a questionable economy, a brand is really losing out if they’re not making their video ads or content work harder and smarter,” Wolff explained. “The goal is obviously to reduce waste and make advertising more accountable. Static ads are wasted impressions. Passive metrics are nice to have, but active metrics and active attention are must-haves in the future.”

While economic uncertainty is impacting brands’ strategies as well as consumer spending, data from KERV indicates that consumers are willing to interact with content from brands if it is relevant, personalized and engaging.

For example, in 2022, KERV client data showed that CTR increased by more than 30% year-over-year on holiday retail ads using interactive video technology. Across KERV retail clients, CTR averaged 1.5%. Additionally, across all KERV retail clients, object highlight time — the amount of time a user hovers over an object in an interactive video — increased from 1.75% to 3.5% year-over-year. Among KERV’s largest retail clients, consumers engaged with interactive video tiles at a rate of nearly 7%, up from an average of 3.13% the previous year.

“When a consumer interacts with a shirt, bathing suit, accessory or next-generation computer in a video, that’s a data point that a brand would never have if the video wasn’t interactive,” Wolff said. “We’re seeing action-based metrics drive real, measurable and quantifiable performance metrics for brands.”

Leveraging video insights for optimized and personalized interactive experiences

While organic user actions and metrics show how and where viewers are engaging with interactive video ads, Wolff cautions against overly relying on a legacy metric like CTR to illustrate campaign performance.

“There are so many other quantifiable ways to address and learn about consumer intent, including interactors, attention and lean-in engagement,” Wolff said. “We should always be thinking of active attention and engagement in a much larger way, versus the traditional proxy of click-through rate.”

And as interactive technology further evolves, advertisers will also be able to build smarter sequential messaging campaigns that lead consumers down the purchasing funnel more seamlessly. 

For instance, one of KERV’s brand partners used dynamic interactive QR codes on CTV and OTT to inform the consumer journey and drive conversions at multiple retailers. Users who completed or scanned the creative were then sequentially driven to convert through KERV’s shoppable video, Wolff explained.

“The interaction rate was almost 13%, which was 15,100% more than our benchmark,” he said. “We also ran a third-party brand lift study which illustrated a successful increase in brand consideration. We saw that consumers were deeply engaged with the KERV technology when we used sequential messaging off of the scan on the interactive unit on the TV. We’re really about taking a consumer from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel, all through smarter interactivity on ads.”

By leveraging these action-based metrics and insights, brands are creating interactive ads that are increasingly personalized and relevant — ultimately driving conversions and revenue. According to research from McKinsey, companies with the fastest rates of revenue growth drive 40% more revenue from personalization than companies with slower growth.

“An interactor or opt-in consumer needs a frictionless experience to make the journey more valuable,” Wolff said. “So utilizing AI and machine learning techniques and technologies within video is a great way to make the customer journey smarter, such as personalized interactions, optimizing touch points and the right creative at the right time.

“With AI and machine-learning interactive video capabilities, there’s no reason why every video can’t be targeted and personalized in near real-time,” he said. “You’re losing out if you’re not making your ads more interactive and actionable. The data is there to help inform your journey.”

Read the original Digiday article here.

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Rich Kentopp
VP, Product Management

After his career of being a pastor and touring musician, Rich started his technology career almost a decade ago with many of the KERV leadership at Lin Digital. Since then he has been a Product leader at three different scaling startups, learning how to build valuable products with teams who love to work together.

Devin Monds
Head of EMEA Sales

Devin is a dedicated and experienced media sales professional with over 15 years in the digital media space in both North America and EMEA. He most recently headed up the International Team at Adludio, the premier advertising platform for delivering strong creative on mobile devices. Prior to his role at Adludio, Devin worked on the Global Brand Partnerships team at CAA Sports in London, and was International Sales Director at LoopMe where he built out the US West Coast Sales Team from Los Angeles. With a proven track record of new business development and revenue generation, Devin has a multitude of solid relationships with brands and agencies, globally.

He relishes the opportunity to engage with new clients on a daily basis, in order to identify tailored solutions that can drive their desired outcomes. Furthermore, he takes pride in his culinary skills, often experimenting with new recipes and delivering delectable results.






    Brad Quinn
    SVP, Enterprise & Publisher Partnerships

    Brad Quinn is the SVP, Enterprise & Publisher Partnerships based out of our NYC office. He has over 15 years of experience across Agencies, Publishers and Tech. At KERV, Brad leads the Partnerships team focused on content providers and distributors. He integrates KERV’s tech capabilities across ads and content to create a real‑time interactive/shoppable experience.

    David Knight
    VP, Engineering

    Before joining KERV in 2018, David Knight spent over 31 years building software products for large corporations like IBM and Schlumberger, 3-person “garage” startups and everything in between. He’s spent the last 15 years discovering and refining the tools, development process, and necessary culture that create great Engineering teams capable of meeting the special demands of technology driven startups.

    Dan Bloomfield
    VP, Technical Ad Operations

    After spending time living in New York and working for NBC Universal’s first digital operations team Daniel moved to Austin in 2009 to further pursue ad tech. During the next decade, he built a career working on interactive video first for Sizmek and then Nexstar. He immediately jumped at the idea to work for KERV and was one of the first to join the company in 2017.

    Creed Pettit
    SVP, Head of Partnerships

    Creed Pettit is an entrepreneurial sales executive offering experience in all aspects of solutions selling, team management, negotiation, organizational leadership, go-to-market strategies and momentum driven models. Prior to joining KERV, Creed served as Media & Entertainment Vertical Sales Leader, Global Business Solutions at TikTok.

    Karen Germ
    VP of Marketing

    Karen Germ is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with a nearly 15‑year history serving in leadership roles across the advertising and technology landscape. Most recently, Karen served as OAAA’s VP of Marketing where she implemented industry leading initiatives to elevate and promote the power of OOH for advertisers, agencies, partners and consumers. 

    Ryan Schoenfeld
    VP, Technical Partnerships

    Ryan Schoenfeld’s career started as an intern at a smaller digital media agency while attending the University of Texas. Since then, he has spent over 15 years working in the programmatic advertising/video space.

    Bill Roberson
    VP, Creative Strategy & Design

    Bill Roberson has worked in the digital space for over 17 years, spanning Media Buying, Ad Operations, Analytics and Optimization, Account Management and now Creative.

    Grant Gorton
    VP, UX & Design

    Grant has been with KERV as VP of Creative for over 5 years, and has worked as a designer and creative director at agencies and media companies for the last 17 years.

    Michael Fleischman
    Chief Financial Officer

    Michael is currently the CFO of KERV Interactive in addition to being an Executive in Residence at Progress Partners, a Merchant Investment Bank and Venture Fund. A seasoned C-Suite executive with a broad array of expertise in Accounting, Financial Planning, M&A, Board Governance and External Commercial Banking and Private Equity Relationships.

    Prior to KERV Interactive Michael was the CFO and current Board Member at Digital Remedy, a privately held media execution company supporting agencies, publishers, and brands in navigating the complex ad tech landscape of digital success.

    Prior to Digital Remedy Michael spent 20 years at Cablevision and Rainbow Media Holdings
    during which he was instrumental in the launch and management of multiple Regional sports networks and a number of National Cable Networks including American Movie Classics (AMC), Bravo, The Independent Film Channel as well as the structuring of partnerships with companies including Liberty Media, NBC, Fox/NewsCorp, and MGM.

    Additionally, Michael played lead finance role in the acquisition of a number of professional sports teams including Madison Square Garden, the successful IPO of Cablevision, and a tracking stock at Rainbow Media. Michael was also involved in the creation and successful launch of Rainbow Advertising Sales, one of the cable industry’s first local advertising sales rep firms and has married his linear experience with a robust understanding of the intricacies of new media, creating a unique skill-set.

    A native of the New York City area, Michael resides with his wife where he enjoys biking, tennis and spending time with his wife and three adult children.

    Taylor Pate
    Chief Technology Officer

    Taylor Pate is the CTO at KERV Interactive, with over 16 years of experience in the advertising and creative industry, known among his peers as a technical and creative powerhouse.

    Taylor’s career began in 2008 as an animator and art director, specializing in the design and production of interactive art. He created 3D illustrations for advertisers such as HP and Dell, and developed 3D animations and tools for top video game series including Club Penguin and The Sims.

    Transitioning to focus on automation, e-commerce, and software development, Taylor joined LIN Digital in Austin, Texas. Over five years, he built a powerful framework to automate the production of thousands of rich media ads annually, developed high-performance ads for major brands, and led the engineering of PHNX, the company’s order management system that processed millions of dollars in ad campaigns monthly. He concluded his tenure at Nexstar Digital as Director of Engineering, leading a team of over 16 engineers and product managers before taking on his current role at KERV Interactive.

    Jay Wolff
    Chief Revenue Officer

    Jay Wolff is currently the Chief Revenue Officer at KERV Interactive, leading global revenue and partnerships. In addition to KERV, Jay is the President of 212NYC, New York’s leading organization for the digital advertising and the media industry. 212NYC’s mission is to build a better advertising industry by providing the programming, tools, and thought leadership to help move the industry forward.

    Jay’s expertise in scaling significant revenue and partner growth in the advertising industry spans 20 years. Most recently, Jay served as Chief Revenue Officer of Varick Media, and Chief Growth Officer at Boostr, the first end-to-end SaaS revenue management system for media companies. Previously, as Regional Vice President of SambaTV, Wolff built the revenue organization and east coast market from the ground up to $100M in revenue. Jay has been tapped for industry thought leadership and panel participation by the likes of Mediapost, Ad Age, and Digiday. 

    Prior to joining SambaTV, Wolff served as Vice President of agency and brand partnerships at PulsePoint; instrumental to the merger of ContextWeb and Datran Media.

    Originally from Armonk, NY, Jay holds a BS in Marketing from Syracuse University and a Certificate of Management from the University of Chicago. Jay resides in Rye Brook, NY with his wife, darling daughter, Olivia, and newborn son, Logan.

    Dan Bienenfeld
    President

    Dan Bienenfeld is currently the Co-Founder and President of KERV Interactive and a seasoned serial entrepreneur who has built startups for more than 35 years. Before joining KERV he has founded seven startups and architected successful exits for a number of them. For four years, he served as CEO of TimeCard Specialists, which created a cutting-edge time attendance software app that streamlined payroll for union members in the TV, film, and commercial industries. TimeCard Specialists was sold in 2016.

    Before that, he was CEO of Total Vision Care for nearly eight years. Total Vision Care built one of the largest mobile diagnostic services in eye care. This service provided ophthalmologists & optometrists with state of the art equipment and licensed technicians right in their own practice to diagnose various eye diseases.

    Gary Mittman
    Chief Executive Officer

    Gary Mittman is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of KERV Interactive and brings more than 30 years in technology and direct marketing, as well as substantial experience in building startups to exit with creativity and agile development. Before joining KERV he held numerous top-ranking leadership roles; Founder & President of Nami Media (which was acquired by Lin/Nexstar Media Group), CEO & Founder of Marina Communications (also acquired), and Vice President of New Business Development – Direct Response at Western International Media leading the team in the new frontier of Infomercials.

    Gary brings a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, including managing all tier one acts booking for New York City’s premiere performance nightclub “The Ritz” as its Executive Manager and Booking Agent, Executive Producer of the first MTV concert series “Live At The Ritz”, a Professional Manager at Chappell Music Publishing, and started out as an Assistant to legendary Clive Davis at Arista Records.

    Andi Fenster
    CPO

    Andi Fenster went into the profession of Human Resources 30 years ago, because she believed from a young age that the way you treat your employees is what you get out of them. Her goal as an HR professional has been to help create the type of work environments that inspire folks to want to come to work. She is also a Management/Leadership/Career Coach and her focus is optimizing humans focusing on the mind‑body connection. 

    “We, each, have tremendous potential and the abilities to level‑up if we choose to understand how to get the support we need to get us there. Helping talent thrive and helping them create success is my reason for doing what I do.”

    Marika Roque
    Chief Innovation Officer

    Marika Roque is currently in her second year as the Chief Innovation Officer at KERV Interactive, following four years as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. She is recognized for her expertise in digital media, data, and organizational infrastructures, with over 15 years of professional leadership experience. Prior to joining KERV, Marika worked as the Vice President of Digital Operations for Mass², a division of the multi-billion-dollar corporation Nexstar Digital LLC. Before that, she served as Vice President of Digital Media & Activation at LIN Digital and Nexstar, leading several departments while advising leadership on digital strategy during multiple acquisitions, including Media General, LKQD, Yashi, Dedicated Media, Federated Media, etc..

    Marika has held senior-level positions with leading agency and digital technology teams in Austin, Texas, including Sizmek and GSD&M, a subsidiary of the Omnicom Group. She also spent several years in Chicago working for FCB Global and Starcom MediaVest Group, a division of the Publicis Groupe. At Starcom, she played a key role in creating the first agency-side programmatic pipelines, contributing to what the industry now refers to as an agency trading desk. Her extensive experience in programmatic advertising dates back to its inception. She also worked on global client strategy and activation for brands like Newell Rubbermaid and their subsidiaries, including Paper Mate and Sharpie, as well as Microsoft B2B. 

    Marika holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin, where she was also a Division I collegiate athlete. Hook ’em.