Adways is a pioneering French company working in interactive video, focusing on intuitive features which provide its clients with the tools to give their advertising videos an extra boost.
When Paris-based Adways was founded back in 2010 it was several steps ahead in the field of interactive video. Since then however the market has become substantially more competitive. For example Odela3D, another French company, sells ‘sensory communication’ services based on augmented video. In similar vein, New York startup Touchcast has attempted to seize on the potential offered by new media features, anticipating a new wave of video usage by creating an iPad app which provides users with the means of creating and augmenting their own videos. In this context, Adways is now making another push to stand out from the crowd by adding new features to its services. In February, the company launched a SAS tool which enables client companies to work on their own videos and make them interactive.
Tracking interactive user actions
In the past the Adways team worked on each video manually, integrating a facility for the end users/customers of their company clients to access additional content at will. The extra content can be called up by clicking on a dynamic zone on the screen as the video runs. “At the time we were in ‘artisan’ mode, but nowadays our customers can upgrade their videos themselves. The process is very simple, and training on the tools takes less than an hour,” explains Adways CEO Jacques Cazin. So Adways clients can now not only add as much content as they wish but also monitor and analyse the online actions of their target audiences. A useful addition here is an elements-tracking service using form recognition. Jacques Cazin predicts that thanks to these e-frames, we will see ‘contextual hotspots’ emerge. “In the long term, there won’t even be a specific zone where you have to click. Something will just appear and the end-user will press it. The ‘purchase’ icon at the bottom right of a sales website page is now already very out-of-date,” he argues.
Interactive video appeals to media firms
Although the main target market here consists of publishers and brand communication experts, there is a further segment to Adways clientele. Interactive video holds a special attraction for media firms. However, the audience chain is much longer there, and the editorial content processes – in the field of advertising for instance – much heavier to set up. “It takes longer to implement in the media sector, but media usage will increase. ‘Native advertising' and this non-intrusive aspect of advertising are a huge driver for growth,” Cazin underlines, citing the example of a video of a fashion show. “When you see a model of a garment you like, all you have to do is to click on it to obtain additional information on the garment, the material it’s made of, and the nearest place where you can buy it.” And if the user isn’t particularly interested in any item in particular, s/he can always watch the video from beginning to end without any intrusive interruptions.