Consumers can Get it all


NEW YORK -- Get Interactive, a new ad technology company that allows consumers to buy products placed in entertainment content and creates opt-in advertising platforms for brands, has inked its first deals with Universal Music Group, Sega and Overture Films, the U.S. distributors of "Mad Money."

Get Interactive's technology allows content providers to run a graphic or text link that says "Get Stuff Now" adjacent to video content online or on mobile platforms. Clicking on the link allows consumers to pull up an ad that can direct them to purchase products seen in the video clip or, if the advertiser so chooses, to interact with the brand in other ways.

"The power of this technology is that anywhere and any way the content can be viewed, we can be there, and it provides for a much more interactive, dynamic branding scenario," said Rick Harrison, CEO of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company.

He added: "These days, companies are trying to force last-generation advertising models on next-generation content models. It's disruptive. What we are is an opt-in platform that really alters the dynamic and allows for one-on-one interaction between brands and their target consumers. We allow consumers to choose to seek out the brands when and how and where they wish, so those consumers are inherently much more valuable to the brands."

Harrison said that brands could provide coupons or the chance to play brand-embedded video games when consumers click on the Get links, for example. Get's technology also allows advertisers to send mobile coupons to purchase their products at the store nearest the user by locating the cell towers the customer is using if they're accessing the Get platform via their mobile device.

"We will coordinate with the brands that are embedded in the content as to the advertising experience they want in place and the brand experience they want the consumer to have," he said.

Get will begin providing links on music videos from Universal Music Group's Interscope, Geffen and A&M labels as soon as UMG provides a list of the artists it wants Get to work with, Harrison said.

In addition, Sega is working with Get to facilitate a wider array of placements into a new video game it is developing, he said.

"There is a much broader array of interactive opportunities with the gamer as a result of these placements," Harrison said. "It allows for interaction anywhere the game is promoted."

Rob Lightner, vp business development at Sega of America, said the Get technology adds value for both Sega and the advertisers.

"Whereas with typical product placement you simply see a product in the game, with Get it allows you take the relationship one step further and allows the consumer to interact in a more meaningful way with the brand." He declined to name the new game Sega is working on with Get.

"Mad Money" producer Jim Acheson, who introduced Overture to Get, said he thought the platform represented not only an opportunity for more product-placement deals but also could help market the film. He said that while there are quite a number of paid placements in the movie, it had yet to be determined which would be available for purchase utilizing Get's platform.

"It's a great concept for marketing the film, and going forward, I think it's a great concept to go out to brands for placement in the film," he said. "It just adds another layer of opportunity for the brands."

"Mad Money," which stars Katie Holmes, Queen Latifah and Diane Keaton, opens in January.

So far, the only Get platform to have been up and running was a test run with Paramount Pictures for the DVD release of "Freedom Writers" in the spring. "It was an unqualified success," Harrison said, noting that 70% of Web users who discovered the Get Interactive link by accident on the official site stayed and interacted with the featured brands. They viewed an average of 4.5 scenes from the film and an average of 6.5 ads for a click-through conversion rate of nearly 12%, he said.

Although Get's technology platform and business model differs somewhat from those of its rivals, Get faces competition from such more established entertainment-driven e-commerce competitors as Delivery Agent and Star Style, which have deals in place with such entertainment powerhouses as ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS Paramount Television, Sony Pictures Television, 20th Century Fox TV, FremantleMedia, Showtime and MTV.