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Chitika Introduce Viral Branding Units

Posted By Darren Rowse 12th of February 2008 Advertising 0 Comments

Chitika today have announced a new type of ad unit that I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peak of a few days ago.

It’s called the Viral Branding Unit (VBU) and you can see it in action on their VBU page but it looks like this:


This unit is currently in beta test but I’m told it’ll be released to all shortly. It’s an interactive ad unit which gives users of your blog the ability to actually interact with the ad. The ads are video based and have the ability for readers to leave comments, rating the ad, telling a friend about it – all on the ad itself.

I’ve seen a few blog networks provide advertisers with the ability to have readers give feedback before (I think Weblogs Inc did it) but this is definitely going in a new direction for ad networks. Of course leaving the ability to comment on ads is a risky business for advertisers and I’m not sure if there is any moderation policies – but it’ll be one way for them to get feedback on their advertising.

I’m told that advertisers will have the ability to control which of the viral components that their ads will have (ie they can turn off comments etc) but what moderation there will be I’m not sure.

These are CPC ads – Correction, these are CPM ads – I’m not in the initial beta test so can’t say how much they are paying – but I’m presuming that they’d be reasonably well priced ads as they are a little more intrusive than many other types of ads.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Death to Static ads!

    I like the idea of feedback for the publisher. Hopefully it will allow publishers a better insight, saving more money.

  • Hi Darren,
    Actually, according to a Chitika staff in the forum, it’s actually a CPM, not CPC and we’ll get paid per impressions.

    From the post:
    “Although all other Chitika ad units are CPC, the VBU is CPM, so you are paid on impressions, not on clicks to view video.”

  • It is an interesting idea – they can see the value of feedback and interactivity. Hopefully they will not be too obtrusive. It looks like one of those things that will either be a flop or take off depending on how well it is put together. If the payments are good then bloggers will certainly welcome them.

  • thanks Michael – good pick up, have updated the post.

  • If this is a preview of the future, comments on ads, I wonder if an iteration of twitter or tumblr would become an ad itself in the coming years?

    Pardon my imagination flying off again. :P

  • I imagine there will be a lot of mud slinging between competitors.

  • They should have come kind of moderation, otherwise people will quickly program bots to post all the viagra ads under reviews. Also, competitors are likely to post a bad review…

  • I am interested to see how pulishers use the comments and rating features an cannot wait to put these ads on my blog.

  • I think it’s genius. Just think how all the best commercials get posted up on blogs and websites via YouTube. Besides, for years I’ve wanted to tell companies whether their advertising companies are worth the money or not.

  • Dumb idea and it’s going to bite them in the ass. Every idiot out there that hates seeing advertising on websites is going to post his opinion. Not only will it hurt the advertiser but it will also affect the publisher. Of course, I guess it’s possible they plan on moderating all of the comments, in which case, I’d say it was going to be an expensive proposition.

  • That is actually a fantastic idea. I presume it is going to work on the stumbleupon/digg principle? Namely the ads with low ratings or comments would disappear and the more popular ones would stick around.

    Democratic ads. I like.