blinkx Unveils the Un-roll Unit, A Unique, Immersive Approach to Online Video Advertising

MediaCom and Shell Oil leverage the Un-roll to tell Shell’s alternative energy story to the world

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – blinkx, the world’s largest video search engine, introduced the Un-roll Unit, an entirely new and immersive branding experience that gives advertisers the unique opportunity to tell a compelling story through their brand and online television, and enables users to engage with a brand continuously throughout a video. In addition, MediaCom and Shell Oil are among the first agencies and brands, respectively, to deploy the new ad format.

A media first, the Un-roll was developed in-house by blinkx in response to the industry’s need for an alternative format to traditional pre- and post-roll advertisements. Available through blinkx AdHoc, the only contextual advertising platform for online video, the Un-roll integrates a brand with relevant, professionally-produced programming on the Web and serves up multiple touch-points, including contextual overlay ads and logos, throughout the viewing experience. This ability to weave a brand into online television is extremely powerful, not only in terms of enhancing viewer experience, but also in generating higher rates of engagement.

The Un-Roll in Action

– The unit begins with a branded curtain that draws back to reveal the video and a branded blinkx video player when the video has fully buffered.
– As the video plays, touch-points such as overlay ads and logos appear at contextually relevant moments within the video, generated by blinkx’s patented, award-winning technology.
– The video ends with a clear call-to-action and the viewer has the option to continue the experience on the brand’s Web site.

“We’re proud to offer our advertisers a unique and effective alternative to traditional pre- and post-roll video advertising,” said Suranga Chandratillake, founder and CEO, blinkx. “Although click-through rates for pre-roll advertisements tend to be positive, some viewers are reluctant to watch 30 seconds of advertising for videos that sometimes last only one minute. Now, using the Un-roll, brands and agencies, like Shell and MediaCom, can tell their story through highly targeted advertisements within online television because blinkx technology understands video better than any other service available today.”
Shell Oil – in search of stronger online engagement around alternative energy

Shell’s goal was to establish an effective mechanism for communicating their alternative energy initiatives to international audiences.

“The exponential growth of online video – both long- and short-form – presents tremendous opportunities for advertisers and publishers alike. The blinkx Un-roll unit is a new format to the market that provides high impact branding in and around online video content, complete with a return path to garner response,” said Stefan Bardega, director of Digital, MediaCom, Shell’s digital media agency. “These types of formats are the future of online video advertising and will become more ubiquitous than the traditional online ‘pre-roll’ ad, which affords no interactivity. Both MediaCom and Shell have a rich history of innovation and we are pleased to be driving this digital innovation online with blinkx.”

blinkx engineers tested approximately 40 different formats before settling on the Un-roll format, which had the lowest “annoyance factor” and strongest brand identity stickiness. In tests, the Un-roll format maintained between two and 12 percent click-through rates, and less than 20 percent of users clicked away from the video before it was finished. Only 15 percent clicked away because of an ad. blinkx estimates that the format will maintain a three to five percent click-through rate over time.

Additional blinkx partners will be deploying similar campaigns in the coming weeks and months. The new ad unit is timely as the blinkx network continues to expand significantly. As reported during its most recent half-year results, unique visitors were up 106 percent year-on-year to 64 million, and pageviews were up 267 percent year-on-year to 668 million in September 2008 (comScore). blinkx returned more than 7 million searches a day in September 2008.

As the pioneer in video search technology, blinkx has built a reputation as the smartest way to search new forms of online content such as video. With more than 420 partners and 32 million hours of indexed video and audio content, including favorite TV moments, news clips, short documentaries, music videos, video blogs and more, blinkx uses advanced speech-recognition technology to deliver results that are more accurate and reliable than standard metadata-based keyword searches.

To see the Un-roll in action, visit

About blinkx

blinkx plc (LSE AIM: BLNX) is the world’s largest and most advanced video search engine. Today, blinkx has indexed more than 32 million hours of audio, video, viral and TV content, and made it fully searchable and available on demand. blinkx’s founders set out to solve a significant challenge – as TV and user-generated content on the Web explode, keyword-based search technologies only scratch the surface. blinkx’s patented search technologies listen to – and even see – the Web, helping users enjoy a breadth and accuracy of search results not available elsewhere. In addition, blinkx powers the video search for many of the world’s most frequented sites. blinkx is based in San Francisco and London. More information is available at