The program is called PARADE Video Rewards and it’s pretty simple. You sign up, tell them a little about yourself and then you’re presented with a variety of video ad choices. If you watch, you get reward points and potentially a bonus reward such as a discount or coupon.
The program is currently being advertised on Parade’s homepage and the initial sign-up form is very short. Name, email, date of birth, zip code and that’s followed by a few questions about your interests. I don’t know if they’re the same for everyone but I was asked to check boxes pertaining to the types of things I buy online, and what kind of movies and music I like. The whole sign-up process took less than a minute if you don’t count waiting for the email confirmation.
To assure that you’re actually watching the videos, two numbers scroll across the screen at random times. You have to enter these numbers after the video in order to claim your reward. I am bad at this. I had to watch two out of three videos twice in order to remember the numbers. They run in the margins of the vid, kind of like those peripheral vision tests at the eye doctor so maybe I need my glasses checked.
The program is new, so I imagine it will improve with time, but right now it’s very underwhelming. One of the ads I was offered was a poor quality cut from the Dancing with the Stars exercise DVD. At the end, I was offered a link to Amazon.com where I could buy the DVD at a discount, but it doesn’t appear to be a special discount, just Amazon’s usual cut price. If I did buy on the clickthrough, I’m supposed to get bonus points. I didn’t test this element.
The second offer I was given was that cute iPod Nano commercial from TV. At the end, (after two tries at the bonus numbers) I was given a Nano sweepstakes entry. I’ll let you know if I win.
I was also offered ads for Kodak and Shoebuy.com which paid off in reward points and Dolce & Gabbana with a sweepstakes entry reward. Not too thrilling yet, but there’s potential.
Here’s the pitch from AdGenesis’ press release:
AdGenesis and its publishing partners offer advertisers a fully immersive brand experience by delivering hyper-qualified consumers, guaranteed views of its content by those most likely to buy, double-digit engagement rates with offers and unique data and insights — all for a fraction of the investment normally required for such a return.
To sweeten the pot for advertisers, Parade is promoting the rewards program through its magazine and newsletter hitting a potential 70 million readers a week. My unscientific study says, that people who read Parade are people who love coupons and deals so the sign-up rate should be pretty good.
In order to keep me on as a viewer, the program is going to have to start offering something more than points and sweepstakes entries. Coupons and samples would be best. Deals will have to be exclusive or they won’t be worth the effort. On the other hand, the points side of the program could turn out to be a winner depending on the levels needed in order to actually receive anything of value. The only thing showing at the moment is the cash value, $1.00 per thousand with an 8,000 minimum needed to cash out. They say they’ll also offer gift cards for Amazon, Starbucks and other venues.
I watched two videos and made 80 points. I’ve got a long way to go and so has the Parade Video Rewards Program.
What do you think of the concept of rewarding people with cash and prizes in return for watching an advertisement? Will you sign up?