YuMe offers all manner of video advertising options from something as simple as a branded players and overlay banner ads on top of video to more interesting and interactive offerings. Today they announced three new in-stream video ad units: Lights Out, SideKick, and Expanded View.

While some may believe that ads are dead and won’t be coming back any time soon and that 2011 will require brands to simply create content instead of using the interruptive ad model (where the content stops to show an ad). YuMe is betting that ads will still be around for quite some time yet and with that in mind is continuing to create new ways to couple those ads with video content including in-player, companion and expanded advertising.

YuMe’s Three New Online Video Ad Units

The Lights Out ad unit is the latest in a series of new, interactive video advertising opportunities that gives viewers more control over their online viewing experience. When the pre-roll ad begins playing, the publisher’s website content automatically dims to create a movie theater-style effect. Viewers can reverse this effect at any time while the ad is running by clicking on the “Lights On/Off” watermark. Lights Out simulates a page take-over, making it ideal for advertisers who are interested in creating strong brand awareness. For participating publishers, this unit facilitates greater revenue opportunities thanks to its highly immersive experience.

This ad unit obviously takes a page out of the operating manual of web applications like Lightbox, which also draws focus to the content itself by creating a sort of page overlay that dims the actual page content while the image is displayed. All it seems to really do is to keep the viewer from reading the text content on the page while the video is playing. There’s no demo of this one in their gallery yet, but we’ve all seen something similar by now in our web browsing.

SideKick is a pre-roll that synchronizes design elements, such as animation or audio cues, with the companion banner.

This ad unit seems to take the companion banner option to a new level so that it offers a cohesive experience in the video player and around it. What it sounds like is that it simply cues ad rotation on the companion banner via some sort of instructions in the video ad. So perhaps if your pre-roll shows three products you can have three different companion ads show, timed to when the product show up in the pre-roll.

It’s actually sort of coll as seen in the demo on their site (couldn’t embed it properly). However, looking at the code, it’s a huge mess of Javascript that needs to be included for the ad to work. I’m guessing the Javascript I saw in the page is used to time the ad display and change to a specific time or frame in the video. Certainly makes for a lot of code and probably requires some effort to set up.

Finally, Expanded View, a pre-roll, which is framed with a border image while the ad plays.  Once the ad ends, the branded frame disappears. The Expanded View provides a more impactful branding impression by allowing an advertiser to further extend its message and branding experience beyond the confines of the video player.

This too sounds like a sort of companion banner in that it’s showing a brand image, logo or information while the ad is playing. It seems sort of silly because you wouldn’t use it to show a Honda logo while a Ford ad ran, so it just seems like the ad is taking up more space via a frame around it. Looking at the demo for this one, it really is just a picture frame around the video. However, the frame didn’t disappear in their demo. Of course, it didn’t play any sort of video after the example ad so that might be why.

To experience and interact with YuMe’s new and older ad units, visit. http://www.yume.com/ad_gallery_all.

All of their ads can be tied together into the ACE system from YuMe which is an end-to-end, buy-side video campaign management system. It’s nice to see YuMe taking the initiative and continuing to expand and offer innovative ads that can be placed with video. Why do I not say video ads? Because many of their offerings aren’t actual video. They are overlays that show display banners in the player, next to the player or are the player themselves. Many of their video ad units utilize standard pre/mid/post-roll video ads and expand on that standard ad model.

Note: When I went to the gallery and poked around, many of the demos did not work for me. I’m guessing that is because they are geo-targeted and I am outside of the target zone. I had wanted to include some demos right here in the article but couldn’t get them to play properly which, I would guess, means they have some important code that is external to the players themselves, like the Javascript mentioned above.