Behavioral Modification
Univision Online, the interactive division of Los Angeles-based Univision Communications Inc., has hired New York-based Revenue Science to provide a more sophisticated presentation of advertisements on its online site, among the Internet's most heavily visited Spanish-language sites.


Most ad-serving software pairs an ad with a Web page with complementary content, such as placing an automobile ad next to an automotive story. Revenue Science's behavioral targeting technology takes the process one step further by tracking a visitor's usage of the client's site and serving ads based on the reader's most important interests, regardless of page content. Thus a regular visitor who frequently reads personal finance stories might be shown a financial services ad even when visiting an automotive page.


"It enables advertisers to buy ads that target a very distinct user, not just someone who might occasionally look at particular content," said Nick Johnson, Revenue Science's chief executive. Univision is the company's first foreign-language client. The company also works with the online sites of Irvine-based Kelly Blue Book Inc. and Westlake Village-based Homestore Inc.


Marketing Trends
Consumers don't mind product placements shown in the context of the plot of a film or TV show, and often find they provide realism to a scene, said Jim Taylor, vice chairman of the Waterbury, Conn.-based Harrison Group market research firm.


That has to be good news for advertisers and marketing firms navigating the brave new world of branded entertainment. The information comes from a national consumer survey presented last week at VNU's second "The Next Big Idea" conference in Hollywood.


Celebrity product endorsements also attract young consumers in particular, more so if the celebrity is someone they trust and admire.


But the survey, conducted online earlier this month with 873 consumers, ages 13 to 70, pointed to some challenges for entertainment producers and marketers who want to reach tech-savvy younger consumers and their time-stretched parents and grandparents.


Entertainment is increasingly valued as much for how it enables viewers or listeners to connect with family and peer groups as for the artistic content itself, the survey suggested. "It still must be fun, but it must also give you things to talk about later," Taylor said. "People see entertainment as a way to help them get along better with other people. It's a necessary part of our social world."


Instead of passively viewing entertainment, consumers want to be able to personalize and, to a certain extent, participate in the process, as well as control how and when that content is delivered to them. That gives the edge to content that can be packaged for wireless and on-demand platforms, as well as video games and interactive Internet services that enable users to alter or create their own short videos and other content to share with others.

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