BIRMINGHAM (WWJ) — A father-and-son team with experience in entrepreneurship and marketing says they’ve invented an entirely new way to embed e-commerce opportunities in Web video.
Clicktivated Video, the brain child of Chris Roebuck and his father Joe, is in talks with media companies, ad agencies, individual brands, and celebrities and online personalities for use of its product.
Clicktivated allows a seamless and non-interrupting way to incorporate e-commerce into a video.
Chris Roebuck said he came up with the idea after he “got frustrated watching things online and wanting more information on how to buy the items, and learn more about the people or things. What we decided to do was design a simple, non intrusive way that allows for direct interaction within online video with a simple click, and get the information right on the spot.”
Let’s say you’re watching a Wolfgang Puck cooking show, the demo I saw Monday. Interested in Puck’s biography? Click on him and a small bookmark appears below the video. Want the recipe for what he’s cooking? Simply click on the food and another bookmark appears. You can pause the video to look at the information linked to the bookmarks, or wait until the video ends. Nothing interrupts the video or appears as a bubble over the video, which the Roebucks say is what separates them from the competition.
“Viewers are constantly being bombarded with popups and other intrusions,” Chris Roebuck said. “It’s getting old and annoying. We wanted to give them control.”
The Roebucks say they’ve applied for a patent on the technology, which they say uses complicated mathematical software to link the information to the video. A third silent partner in Clicktivated is the development whiz who wrote the software.
Clicktivated will be sold as a service with a subscription fee, Chris Roebuck said, and “if there’s an e-commerce play to the video there will be some kind of revenue share.”
Early results are more than encouraging. One company’s sports apparel video drew a 7 percent purchase conversion rate. Another client’s video resulted in 40 percent conversion of signups to a gaming Web site.
Check out the technology at http://www.clicktivatedvideo.com.
Chris Roebuck grew up in Bloomfield Hills and majored in advertising at Michigan State. He’s worked in advertising agencies and software development shops before Clicktivated. He said the software involved was two years in the development.
His father, Joe, is a Detroit native and veteran entrepreneur who started his first business, a finance company, in the 1970s and sold it to National Bank of Detroit. He then started an asset inventory and management company, Corporate Resources Inc., that was later reincarnated as Asset Management Resources. And he’s also been involved in a computer refurbishing company called Motor City Computer.
“The thing I’m most proud of is that every business I’ve ever sold is today still in business,” Joe Roebuck said.