Rich Media & Video Ads

28 Feb 2006

Nathan was at SES and asked me if he should attend the ‘Rich Media & Video Ads’ talk or choose for “Podcast Search” or “Searcher Behavior Research” or “Search Engine Friendly Design”. I advised him to go to the rich media thing, because that seemed the most interesting bit. Also because Google has recently launched Video Adsense, this session seemed to be a ‘must’. That resulted in a really long post from Nathan of which I’m going to quote some stuff:

Maria Mandel from Ogilvy kicks it off by saying that adding audio and video to online advertising increases the impact 2.5 times, according to a study. Most companies think they can just take their TV commercials and put them online. This doesn’t work as well as they’d think. By creating an ad that, while similar to a TV ad, is designed for online (designed for people sitting closer to a screen, having links within the creative), the advertiser saw a 3.5 times increase in effectiveness.

She shows a “You Make The Call” ad Miller Lite ran, where you click the sidebar to slideout a video area, and the user is asked what they want to happen in the ad. Maria says the average user spent more than two minutes with the ad. Another ad, for a car, had, if you moused over the ad, the guy in the ad would yell at you to stop touching his car.

One thing during the whole presentation: the popup blocker and other security features continued interrupting and slowing down the demo. This proves the biggest problem with this type of advertising, and was not acknowledged.

She also showed an ad campaign they ran for Sprite called “Miles Thirst”, where they did a viral campaign inserting this character everywhere. They bought search ads on various pop culture references, with the character commenting on them.

Nathan went to talk to Maria Mandel after the presentation:

Now, after the session, I approached the first presenter, Maria Mandel, and pointed out that during her demo, she had to move around popup blockers and Flash error messages, and asked if she was worried that users are finding ways, like Firefox’s Flashblock, to block the same rich media content, the entire panel is trying to make money off of, and pointed out that the fault for this lies in the misuse of rich media we’ve had for year, with this sort of things getting shoved down our throats.

She made a good point that all users are finding ways away from push advertising, precisely because all of it has being annoying us for years. In fact, we buy Tivos not just to time-shift shows, but to skip the commercials interrupting our entertainment. She believes all advertising is moving away from that model to one that the user seeks out and engages on their own, and thus enjoys, and is more effective, an on-demand form of advertising.

Read the entire article about Rich Media
Also read:
SES NY Lunch With The Google Engineers
SES NY: Contextual Advertising

Because of Nathan’s absence, I filled in for him and blogged over at InsideGoogle, so posting was a little low on this blog. But I’ll make it up later today, if I find some time.

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Posted by Miel Van Opstal in Advertising, Marketing


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