Art directors dreaming up new campaigns tend to like innovative departures from the conventional, and a new product developed by the New York headquartered advertising agency Jun Group may fit that bill admirably.
Jun Group made its name as a market leading video advertising platform, so when a company like that experiments with a break in tradition, most creative art directors will find their ears pricking up instinctively. But what is this new product and why is Jun Group so excited by it?
It’s called Overdrive and is the product of the agency’s experimentation with a format it dubs ‘owned advertising.’ It might be circulating in the news now, but according to Jun Group’s CEO Mitchell Reichgut, it was ‘soft launched’ four months ago in June. And the reason for the excitement? Well it’s a pretty darned good one: in that short little interval, Overdrive now accounts for a third of the agency’s revenue (well, over 30 percent of it, anyway). Pretty well any art director involved in an initiative as successful as that would be hugging himself today.
The format looks like sponsored content when it appears on a publisher’s website (eg, appearing embedded in a news feed) but if a viewer clicks on it, something unexpected happens – the ad links to an advertiser’s promotional web page or micro-website. For Reichgut, this kind of sponsored content is crucial – forget the standard promotional copy; consumers get something interesting and worthwhile with Overdrive.
Or is it just sponsored content?
The more skeptical art director might be wondering at this stage whether there’s any real difference between what Jun Group calls owned advertising and what everyone else calls sponsored content. To be frank, it might be a futile exercise to even try to make any hard and fast distinctions; the Overdrive ads do look rather like content-style or native ads, however, Reichgut says that the emphasis is different with Overdrive: “The focus is on pages that the brands control… The big insight is that it’s no longer about reaching out to people but bringing people in.”
Essentially, Overdrive makes use of Jun Group’s existing network and has the capacity to deliver literally millions of impressions for every campaign.
Over 30 percent increase in revenue in under three months says it’s working.