Social advertising network Adknowledge has launched ‘Social TV’, a new format enabling brand advertisers to reach social network users.

The format uses streaming video and visuals to capture the attention of social network users, encourages them to become advocates of brands and potentially participate in viral campaigns.

Social TV aims to target users on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5 and Friendster.

The Social TV format, explained Markus von der Luehe, managing director of Adknowledge Australia, is directed at brand advertisers who need to extend their reach beyond traditional media and across the major social networks, where advertisers are charged on a cost-per-engagement or on a CPM basis.

“Research from Nielsen shows that that the advertising impact of the internet can add 15 points of lift above TV in terms of brand recall and 187 points of lift in message recall. Adding engaging internet advertising to a television buy adds incremental reach and increases effectiveness,” said Markus von der Luehe.

The format aims to tap into the behaviour of social network users who spend their online time to post videos, share photos and discuss brands, click on the ads, view them, and share them with their friends.

According to von der Luehe, case studies on the video application are showing an average of 15% to 30% viral hits through recommendations to friends and newsfeeds, and click-through rates as high as 8%.

“The viral potential is limitless. (Social TV) is designed to enable brand advertisers to engage with their audiences on a much deeper level than other traditional formats,” said von der Luehe.