“2022 Will Be Another Record Year in Our History.”
17 December 2021
An interview with Ilhan Zengin
The Austrian news portal INTERNET WORLD Austria recently interviewed ShowHeroes Group CEO Ilhan Zengin about the unique selling proposition of the ShowHeroes Group, how the expansions to Italy, the UK and Spain have succeeded and what distinguishes the Austrian market from others.
Mr. Zengin, you are one of the three founders and CEO of the Berlin-based company ShowHeroes. What does ShowHeroes stand for in a few words?
We stand for video like no other company – whether it is content, technology or marketing. On the one hand, we are Europe’s leading provider of digital video advertising; on the other, we are a successful producer of customized video content for publishers. There is a reason why our motto is “Conquer the Age of Video”.
How does ShowHeroes position itself compared to other video solution providers for digital publishers and advertisers?
Our business model is unique because we offer both: Video content and the marketing of moving image content. Publishers and advertisers thus get everything from a single source. And with the launch of our SemanticHero technology in Connected TV this year, we are increasingly conquering the big screen in the living room. With this cross-device combination, we have a strong asset.
Around the turn of 2020/2021, ShowHeroes expanded to Italy, Spain and the UK. How did the expansion proceed in the rather difficult economic situation at the time – keyword Corona?
Corona was a catalyst for many developments. Lockdowns and home offices have led to many people using moving image offerings even more intensively and frequently. This has been proven by many studies. In this respect, Corona was more of a driver of the already positive overall development for Video. This is another reason why 2020 was a record year for us in terms of sales, despite the difficult conditions for the company. And we continue to grow. With PlayAd, we have just completed another acquisition and are now represented in the Nordics. The next projects are already waiting in the wings, so there will be more exciting news before the end of the year.
In which other countries – besides Germany, Austria, Spain and UK – does ShowHeroes operate?
Our ShowHeroes family is now spread across more than 15 international locations: In addition to the four countries mentioned, we have offices in France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands and Russia. And with the acquisition of the Swedish company PlayAd Media Group, based in Stockholm, our market solutions now also reach publishers and advertisers in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
How do you describe the Austrian market compared to others?
The Austrian market is essential for ShowHeroes in the heart of Europe. We still see great development potential there, whereas we are already the market leader in our home market of Germany. Especially new and innovative products like Interactive Video Ads or our semantic technology, which recently became applicable in our CTV network, are very well received and quickly implemented in Austria – Roland Divos, our Country Manager in Austria, and his team are doing a great job there.
In May this year, ShowHeroes launched new video solutions: Interactive Video Formats. What do these new formats stand for and what makes them different?
It’s a whole new set of formats, all of which offer more freedom and creativity. In addition to our existing product portfolio, consisting of Instream Video Ads and Branded Player Ads, we now offer additional solutions such as Dynamic Frame Ads – an ad with a frame that can be played individually. Or lead generation ads, where users can enter their contact details directly. Publishers can integrate these on their pages and offer users a varied and interesting advertising offer. Our new interactive formats bridge the gap between branding and performance – interactive, individual and innovative.
This was followed by further product development in September. ShowHeroes Group is developing a new Connected TV (CTV) market solution. What is this all about in concrete terms?
With semantic targeting, we unlock the big screen for a much more targeted approach: Our SemanticHero technology analyzes the advertising environment in Connected TV using, inter alia, available metadata from the broadcaster. In the case of live streams, data from the Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) of smart TV sets is also consulted. Based on this data, the context of the CTV content is determined with precision. Advertisements can thus be played out in a personalized and efficient manner. Without any cookies at all.
What goals have you set for your position in the coming year 2022?
We want to become not only Europe’s No. 1 in video marketing, but also one of the most important players in the business worldwide. That means one thing above all: Growth. Think global, but act local – through our expansion, we are already bringing large, international clients and campaigns to all Showheroes markets, which we will expand even more in 2022. This will especially benefit our partners in the smaller markets. Together with our current 250 Heroes and employees, we will launch new products and expand our business model. In short – 2022 will be another record year in the history of ShowHeroes.