In the 90s, the majority of Internet advertising could be summed up in one word: banners. They were as quick to fall as they were to rise, though, and are currently only considered successful if 1 out of 1,000 people click the banner.
Not to say that the banner ad was an inherently bad form of advertising. Rather, the market trends shifted to cost-per-click models, which provided higher ROI for clients. That shift raises two very important questions, though: will the cost-per-click model eventually falter like the banner ad, and what will replace it?
In late 2011, Boston College classmates Tom Coburn, Chase Mcaleese, and Jonathan Lacoste started Jebbit because they refused to wait for the trends to shift on their own. They catalyzed their own change, via Jebbit, to establish the cost-per-correct answer model (CPCA) as the potential cost-per-click replacement.
“The actual idea for Jebbit came to me while I was waiting for a flight in an airport,” says Coburn. “I was streaming a TV show, and an ad came on. Immediately I muted the volume and checked my email. But then it hit me: here is a brand who may as well throw their product out the window.”
Brands that sign up for Jebbit’s services will be able to avoid misplaced ads by engaging their audience in a direct way. The platform accomplishes this through interactive Jebbit-sponsored ads designed to collect data and ask questions about the product being promoted.
The Jebbit team fiercely believes that brands should never have to pay for their ads unless a customer has directly engaged with one of them. That means that you, as an advertiser, can reduce inefficiencies and waste in standard CPM and CPC ad campaigns, thus driving a higher ROI on every dollar spent.
Consumers who sign up for Jebbit get their own profile page that lists their Jebbit Score, cash balance, and an activity news feed. There are ad campaigns you can participate in that will ask you questions about the specific products like Lemon Wallet or Venture Rocket.
If you answer the questions right, and they can be tricky, or choose to post their brand to social media pages, you get a few cents and bonus points by invoking a correct answer. All your cash can be spent in the Jebbit marketplace on real world items like video games, iPhone cases, or fashion accessories.
“The main reason that a lot of brands like our CPCA model is because they can try our technology with little to no upfront risk,” says Coburn.
In addition to never charging for a click, only a correct answer, Jebbit charges no setup or consulting fees. Most other advertising tech businesses have large minimum buys, charge per click, and charge consulting and setup fees.
Brands like Zipcar, Coca-Cola, Bose, and Microsoft have already signed on board with Jebbit because they see it as a slam dunk. On the one hand, any advertisement that fails to reach their audience is free. On the other hand, successful ads reveal what specifically appeals to their demographic.
Jebbit is a picture-perfect example of how a small group of entrepreneurs can instigate massive change in a market long set in stone. True, the CPCA model is relatively unknown to most advertisers, but the Jebbit team is not letting that halt their efforts.
Jebbit was featured at Tech Cocktail’s Boston Mixer & Startup Showcase on August 27th.