Adventr’s Interactive Digital Video Ads


Ad tech is confusing, and brand marketers and agencies alike want to simplify it. There are an overabundance of vendors contributing to the industry’s complexity. The ad-tech market will reach $2.9 trillion by 2031, according to Allied Market Research. Adweek is reporting on one rising tech company each month that represents the future of advertising.

Adventr, an ad-tech startup backed by John Legend, is creating interactive, shoppable videos designed to convert viewers. It uses generative AI to help video creators—usually marketers—increase clickthrough rates and generate higher purchase intent “in a dramatic way, at scale,” said the company’s founder, Devo Harris.

Most companies still release video content primarily to increase their potential customers’ brand awareness. It’s still rare to see interactive video content online, and usually it has its limitations.

“That’s not really how the internet works in terms of conversion. Obviously, that’s not a real actionable piece of content,” Harris told Adweek.

If a brand wanted to increase its video content effectiveness without spending more on production costs, it might work with Adventr to add interactive elements to the video. The strategy can be as simple as making a clickable button that reveals a product’s SKU number as the video plays, according to Harris.

This technology is novel. Traditionally, marketers viewed video at an upper funnel asset—a tool to educate potential customers about a brand or product, not drive sales. Adventr is changing that, incorporating dynamic technology into each video that allows viewers to interact with video content, thereby choosing their own marketing adventure.

Harris, a Grammy-winning producer and songwriter, started the company after digging into YouTube video strategy in 2010 and overseeing product at Vimeo. The startup is generating interest. In 2021 it raised $5 million in seed capital, works with its clients including H&M and 23andMe, and now employs 22 people. John Legend, once Harris’ college roommate, invested in the company and last month, Business Insider included Adventr on its list of 12 up-and-coming generative AI startups.

At Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, Harris briefed Adweek on the technology and his business model.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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