Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009

Zvika Netter

In a typical shampoo commercial, a dark-haired beauty pulls her fingers through a thick mane of glossy hair to showcase a brand. For many viewers, that's a cue to surf.

But if you could interface with the ad directly, you might be tempted to stay. That's the technology behind Innovid. Imagine an online video with an icon that allows you to pull up information about the shampoo product line. Click again and you get hairstyling tips.

It's not quite what Innovid founders Zvika Netter, Tal Chalozin and Zack Zigdon had in mind when they started out in 2006. "Everything that we do that's commercial is much bigger than what we thought up two and a half years ago," says Netter, Innovid's CEO.

Their initial concept was to insert brands into old video footage as a type of product placement, but not much came of it. "Once we focused on commercials, it suddenly took off," says Netter from Innovid's Tel Aviv office. "Of course, we can do cooler stuff with our technology," he says.

But it's hard to ignore the money. Since they hit on interactive ads, orders have poured in. Television is the next milestone, and Netter is itching to get involved. The technology, he believes, could open up a whole new future for reality shows and sports.

—Catrina Stewart