Targeted digital ads start with car color

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A New York digital marketing company is harnessing the power of the palette.

Say, for instance, a car shopper builds a shiny red SUV in an automaker's online configurator. Eyeview says its technology can deliver an online video advertisement of that shiny red SUV directly to that customer.

Or -- using postproduction tricks -- a video of the same SUV in black, white, blue or whatever color that customer desires. Eyeview can tailor TV spots from ad agencies using color along with geographic targeting to maximize their impact online to lead people into dealerships.

Eyeview is betting that its color-morphing capabilities will trigger an emotional reaction from consumers who spent time researching a vehicle and likely visualized themselves in it.

And research shows that vehicle color is a crucial part of the shopping experience. Cobalt, a provider of dealer Web sites and digital services, studied in-market shoppers and found that each one considered color a top priority.

"We're reinforcing something that they created, which is going to push somebody to have an emotional" response, Erik Schear, Eyeview's executive director of sales, said this month in Detroit. "You can't do that with one TV ad, and you're not creating seven TV ads with different colors."

Such personalization adds relevancy to online videos that are often lifted from TV but not optimized for online audiences. It's also a far cry from the "carpet bombing" tactics seen with TV commercials, in which a generic ad is delivered to hordes of people to reach a few, said Amit Mashiah, Eyeview's senior vice president of marketing.

Eyeview creates videos that are able to run on any device, whether it's a tablet, smartphone, connected TV or computer.

"When [marketers] did it on TV, they weren't having one-to-one communication with all of the right people. They were having that communication with some of the right people. That's an expensive way to put your brand message out there," Schear said.

Eyeview's customization tactics aren't limited to color morphing. The company can bolster targeted videos with timely sales offers and direct people to local dealerships.

Mashiah said online ads are most effective when served to consumers within 15 miles of the dealership.

"According to databases like [IHS's Polk], we know your status. Ninety days away, we'll tell you this is the best brand for you. In 60 days, we'll tell you we have great deals coming up next weekend, next month," Mashiah said. Eyeview "will come with a relevant deal. We're pushing you down the [purchase] funnel. This is the future of online video."

You can reach Vince Bond Jr. at vbond@crain.com. -- Follow Vince on Twitter


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