About.com founder Scott Kurnit (one of our investors) has been working on a stealth-company for the past year.Other than saying it’s a potentially massive business and that he actually chose between this idea and About.com 15 years ago when he founded About, he’s kept mum about it.
But now it has finally launched. With big VCs, partners, and clients.
The company is called “AdKeeper.”
It attaches a little button to online ads that lets readers “keep” the ads to review later.
Not surprisingly, advertisers have gone absolutely bananas for it–AdKeeper’s launching with an all-star roster of clients. (And of course they’ve gone nuts–who wouldn’t want their ads “kept”?)
The big question, we think, is whether consumers will care enough to use the “keep” button.
We suspect that the answer, at least with the current crop of ads, is that a sub-set of power-users will but that the mass-consumer market won’t. (Consumers are inherently lazy, and this requires work). Or, more specifically, we suspect that many consumers will “keep” a few ads but then forget to check them out later.
The exception to this–and it’s important–will likely be when an ad is served that is already of special and immediate interest to the user. And it would not take a huge number of those ads for AdKeeper to be enormously valuable to advertisers.
Over time, moreover, if the service gains traction, we suspect ad agencies will start to develop special “creative” for it, in which consumers are rewarded in some way for “keeping” and reviewing ads. At which point the usage will probably increase.
Here’s a demo video. Let us know below whether you think you’ll “keep” ads.
And here’s all the info from AdKeeper’s release.
NEW SERVICE, ADKEEPER™ LETS CONSUMERS “CLICK TO SAVE” ONLINE ADS, TRANSFORMS USER ONLINE MEDIA EXPERIENCE
Consumers ‘Keep’ Ads of Their Choice with a Simple Click – Personal ‘Keeper™‘ Gives
Consumers Absolute Control to Engage with Online Ads on Their Own Time and Terms
Scott Kurnit, Successful Media Entrepreneur, Launches Company with Backing
of Top-Tier Venture Capital Firms
Advisory Board Filled with Industry Luminaries; Charter Advertisers Include Fortune 500’s
New York, October 11, 2010 — AdKeeper™ today announced a transformative online advertising service that will forever change the way consumers interact with the Internet. With one simple click of a button, consumers can place ads of their choice into their personal ‘Keeper™,” offering them absolute control to save, sort, sift, share, rank, review, click, print and buy online from ads they have specifically selected. Part of AdKeeper’s revolutionary approach is that no software, no downloads, no browser extensions, no plug-ins and no pre-registration are required. One Click. Kept. Period.
AdKeeper is founded by Scott Kurnit, one of the nation’s most successful online media entrepreneurs and founder of About.com, and funded by top-tier investors including: True Ventures, DCM, Spark Capital, First Round Capital, Betaworks, Lerer Ventures, David Cowan, Stan Shuman and The New York Times Company.
AdKeeper has been embraced by the largest group of charter advertisers for any new media launch. This prestigious group includes many of the nation’s largest and most innovative companies, from a wide variety of industries, including members of the Fortune 500: Allstate, Ally Bank, AT&T, Best Buy, CBS, Ford, Gap, General Mills, InterContinental Hotels Group, JetBlue, Kmart, Kraft Foods, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Sara Lee, Sears, Showtime, The Advertising Council, Unilever and Warner Bros.
The company’s Advisory Board boasts industry luminaries including Bob Greenberg (R/GA), Janet Robinson (The New York Times Company), John Battelle (Federated Media), Jeremy Allaire (Brightcove), Ken Lerer (Huffington Post), Bijan Sabet (Spark Capital), John Borthwick (Betaworks), Wenda Harris Millard (MediaLink), David Rosenblatt (Former DoubleClick), Peggy Conlon (The Advertising Council), David Cowan (Bessemer Ventures), and George Schweitzer (CBS).
“Until now, the consumer could control every aspect of the Internet experience – except one. Not anymore. AdKeeper delivers the ability for consumers to finally save online ads for use on their own terms and time. Without leaving their current page or interrupting their online experience, consumers have the unprecedented ability to click and keep ads of their choice,” said founder Scott Kurnit.
“AdKeeper enables active engagement with online advertising – establishing a dialogue in which the brand and consumer are both willing participants and giving consumers absolute control of what, how and when they engage with marketing communications,” added Kurnit. “And in the process, it also creates a more seamless relationship between consumers and marketers as initial ad impressions are followed up with additional permission-based product information, brand experiences and unique offers.”
How does AdKeeper work?
The business is as simple as a Keep Button™ and a Keeper™. Here’s how it works.
When consumers see a “K” button on an ad that interests them, they click the K button, and continue their reading or viewing experience uninterrupted. The ad is copied into their Keeper where it can be visited later, at the consumer’s convenience. Once in the Keeper, consumers can sort and organise their ads, click through to get more information, make their purchase or print a coupon. They can also rank, review and share ads they think their friends would find helpful or entertaining.
Ads are intended to help consumers save money, make buying decisions, research products and services and at times, entertain. With the help of AdKeeper, consumers can exercise even more control over their online browsing experience. Instead of ads being a distraction or something to be ignored, consumers can now feel safe to ‘click and keep’ knowing their time and attention are respected.
Save. Sort. Sift. Share. Rank. Review. Click. Print. Buy.
These are just some of the capabilities AdKeeper offers – all within a dynamic, live consumer interface that is both private and personalised. The Keeper is the consumer’s own place where only the ads they have invited have a right to exist. The ‘click to keep’ will not trigger any other ad or intrusive actions. A consumer-first business, AdKeeper respects consumers’ security and right to privacy. The ads will be held confidentially in each consumer’s Keeper, waiting for them to interact as they wish.
“Internet advertising was modelled after TV advertising – where the consumer views content, then interruptive ads, then more content. But the web is a totally dynamic environment that places consumers in the driver’s seat,” said Kurnit. “It’s time for the advertising experience to catch up with the rest of the web experience. AdKeeper affords consumers the opportunity to engage with the advertising that interests them most, at the time and place of their choosing. It’s ‘on my time advertising.’ It’s invitational, not interruptive. It’s for brands that respect their consumers. And it’s for consumers who want to take charge.”
AdKeeper was launched today in beta and is currently available by invitation. The service will be widely available in the first quarter of 2011.