I first seen this technology displayed at Microsoft Tech.Ed 06 in Sydney, where an object or in this case people are tracked throughout a video. This is done by analysing pixels on each frame of the video, then comparing them to the following frame and identifying where they’ve moved to. Amazingly they can even do a prediction of where that object will be a frames later if an object blocks it from view. Combine this with the interactive layer that Flash / Silverlight can provide with mouse rollover effects, and you have the resulting technology.
The sample above allows you to rollover the people in the video, you get a selection area around the active advertisement, in this case – clothing. If you’d like more information, you can click the object and even have the option of purchasing the item.
I actually like this type of advertising, as I’ve often found myself wishing I could get more info or purchasing options for a cool piece of furniture or technology used in movies / TV shows. Remember that if you don’t rollover the content, you simply see the video, no advertising interfering with your viewing experience.
No doubt embedding the ads, may be an significant task, however the convenience for the end-user would certainly be worth the trouble. This could even potentially create new jobs just to perform this task of linking video content to product information.
I support the theory that if you make things easy to buy, consumers will be more likely to make the purchase therefore resulting in increased sales.
More @ Microsoft adCenter Labs