Nectar Adpoints, the platform which encourages people to watch and interact with ads in return for points, is now officially up and running following a beta trial last year.
The premise of the site is to provide advertisers, including Kellogg’s and Unilever which are already signed up, with detailed consumer information based on ad recall, brand awareness, sentiment and purchase intent (nma.co.uk 25 November 2011).
Nectar Adpoints currently has 35,000 registered users, all of which were existing Nectar card holders, and although registration is closed at present the company will be looking to increase numbers in the New Year with a target of hitting 1m.
New media age has been given a behind the scenes look at the proposition. Prior to registering users are asked a number of questions about where they live, interests, newspaper readership, children, marital status and household income, in order to target ads most effectively and to provide brands with clear demographic data.
The site is driven by a carrousel at the bottom which provides users with thumbnails of potential ads as well as informing them of how many points they are worth. The ads towards the beginning of the carrousel are driven by promotion so are more prominent.
If for some reason a user doesn’t want to watch an ad they can click on the ‘x’ which pushes it to the back of the queue. Ads can also be sorted by category, such as food & drink, or searched for specifically by brand name. There are currently around 70 ads available, but this is set to increase to between 100-200 next year. As the platform begins to learn the user’s habits it can also push the most relevant ads to the front.
Generally ads are available for four to six weeks, or will remain on the site until they hit a predetermined number of views.
When an ad has been selected it moves up to the centre screen ready to be played. Product details feature alongside it, along with a picture of the specific product or logo, depending on what is being advertised, and stats including duration, number of views and likes.
When the ad starts to play users are encouraged to continue watching the content throughout and are prompted at the midway point to click on a box to prove they are still paying attention and haven’t left the room to make a cup of tea. The position of the message changes slightly each time the ad is played to prevent people from keeping the mouse in the same position and powering through ads without watching.
If the message is not accepted within a five second window the ad immediately returns to the beginning and needs to be started again. Similarly if it plays to the end and the user does not rate the ad within ten seconds the user will not gain the points and will have to watch the ad again.
Incentivising ad watching can be risky as it may lead to false results, but steps have been taken to safeguard against it. There will always be an element of ‘points hunting’ with schemes such as this, but in the most part users do have to pay attention so will be influenced by the ad one way or another.
The amount of points users can collect is also capped at 250 per week, and most ads are worth only a few points, which should also go some way to prevent users from doing it purely for points without giving an honest opinion.
After ads have played advertisers also provide a number of questions to gain further insight about users, which again is incentivised. These questions vary from brand to brand and product to product, but all are multiple choice and seek to gain further information about brand favourability and purchase intent.
Finally, users can gain another point if they click through to an external web page of the advertiser’s choice. This could be a Facebook fan page, the product page on the brand’s website, an offer or a shopping page on a supermarket site.
According to CEO Jason Froggett questions have a 90% completion rate, while just under 65% of users visit the suggested site.
All information about user profile and demographics is then shared with the advertiser to help inform future decisions. Once the platform has been up and running for a few months I would be very interested to speak to some of the advertisers involved to see just how this data is being used and what type of results they have seen.
Personally, I would be happy to use a platform such as this, but I do worry that some might take part purely to pick up points. It is a clever way to get user input en masse however.
Nectar is Adpoints’ first partner, but Froggett said the company would be looking to build relationships with additional businesses going forward, so it will be interesting to see how these partnerships evolve and how alternative ways of incentivising people may be developed.
Further down the line, the plan is to incorporate the platform into video-on-demand services and eventually into TV. Adpoints is in talks with broadcasters now so I’d be keen to see how this develops.