Using psychology to win at advertising isn’t a new strategy, but Center City-based advertising startup Solve Media has devised a way to put internet users in a psychological pickle that forces them to decide between enduring an ad or typing a slogan into a CAPTCHA box.
The new product, Pre-Roll Insurance, launched earlier this week and it seems like it will make advertisers happy no matter what viewers do.
Based on the CAPTCHA TYPE-IN advertising product which helped put Solve Media on the map from its launch in September 2010, the pre-roll video advertising feature replaces the usual “skip ad” button that shows up a few seconds into a video internet ad with a text box. To ditch the ad and get to the content, the user has to type the company’s slogan into the text box. The advertiser feels as though he got his money’s worth because a potential customer engaged with his branding message. The internet user, however, has to decide whether to sit through an entire advertisement or type in a potentially irritating slogan.
Either way, Solve Media says in its promotional video that it’s hit on a product that addresses two major advertising concerns. First, 70 percent of YouTube users, on average, opt to “skip ad,” according to the press release. Second, even when users don’t skip, they usually multitask instead of watching the commercial.
Max Sobol, executive vice president of Solve Media, told Technically Philly that Pre-Roll Insurance addresses those concerns in two ways:
- Promotes user choice and saves users a bunch of time (smart ad skipping)
- Improves pre-roll advertising effectiveness & impact for advertisers (super memorable)
Solve Media learned the power of perception early on when it dropped its original name, AdCopy, because people assumed they were a copywriting outfit. It’s also not the first time they’ve drawn mixed reviews for so adeptly facilitating the interests of advertisers, as Technically Philly reported.
Solve Media is based in Center City on South Broad, though it also has offices in New York and Chicago. The company is backed by First Round Capital, New Atlantic Ventures, AOL Ventures, Bullpen Capital and a few angel investors, according to the press release.
The company is up to 35 people in total, 20 of whom are in Center City, says Sobol, “handling tech, ad ops and publisher business development.” Satellite offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are all handling ad sales, he said.
Business Insider speculated as to whether the new Pre-Roll Insurance was “creepy.”
We guess it’s up to the viewer to decide.