Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Rich Media Mobile Ads

March 10th, 2010

As the mobile market continues to grow, mobile advertising opportunities are growing right along with it. The capabilities of the ads, too, are quickly expanding.

This week the Mobile Marketing Association released a Rich Media Mobile Advertising whitepaper. You can take a look at the free six-page guide to get a quick introduction to the types of rich mobile ads in the market (not including apps or games).

While mobile display advertising mimics some aspects of online display advertising, there is one key difference I noticed from the whitepaper’s examples. Mobile ads are more likely to expand into a full-screen experience—which is not a common feature in online display ads.

“As highly interactive and feature-rich smartphones continue to dominate new mobile device sales, rich media mobile ad units will comprise an ever-growing portion of the mobile advertisement display market in the U.S. and around the world,” according to the MMA’s whitepaper.

In the fourth quarter of 2009, an average of 19% of mobile advertisers used rich media mobile ad units, according to the whitepaper. These ads include:
o Ads with video, sound or interactive features
o Expandable ads
o Animated ads
o Floating ads

Take a look at the report for great examples from promotions involving The Weather Channel, Alice in Wonderland and Lincoln. The examples include high-quality screenshots and brief descriptions of the ads’ functionality.

If you’re interested in rich mobile advertising, the report can give you a few examples for inspiration, and a few guidelines around sizing, functionality, and why you should give users “close” and “skip” buttons in the ads.

Are you buying these types of ads? If so, let us know what you think of them in the comments…

Adding Retail Revenue Streams

January 7th, 2010

When shoppers visit supermarkets and large retailers, they’re bound to see branded in-store displays. The stores add revenue while helping brands stand out. Why not apply this idea to ecommerce?

That’s just what Doug Miller, Global VP, Media Solutions, Expedia Inc., and his team have done with several Expedia Inc. properties including, and

The team started leveraging their reach into the consumer travel market when Miller joined about five years ago. Miller says about 61% of visits to travel websites are to Expedia properties.

“They are very few places, probably nowhere else, where you’re going to be able to reach an online travel audience in such a concentrated way.”

This qualified high-volume travel audience presents a great opportunity to sell media. Expedia’s world-wide media business, a which encompasses more than Miller’s team’s work, accounts for about 10% of their total business and growing fast, Miller says.

Take a look at these four media options. They might give you ideas for leveraging your own audience:

StorePoint Ads

The team’s first program offered display ads that reached several Expedia Inc. sites. The banners are shown:
o Adjacent to search results
o On the homepage
o On browsing pages
o On content pages for various destinations

“This is where Hawaii or Mexico or American Airlines will call out to you and say they have a special opportunity for you at the point of sale,” Miller says.

Expandable StorePoint Ads

The team later updated the StorePoint technology to offer marketers the option to integrate interactive rich-media ads. The Flash-based ads expand over site content when clicked, and retract to their normal size when visitors move away.

Once expanded, the ads can offer a range of functionality, including:
o Audio and video
o Data capture fields
o Interactive animation
o Send to a friend


The team offers marketers a bid-for-placement, sponsored listings program specifically designed for hotels. The ads are featured at the top of search results pages on and for location-based searches bid on by marketers. These marketers can bid on specific locations and time periods, and set a maximum budget to control their spending.


This year, the team launched a behaviorally-targeted ad format that reaches Web surfers after they’ve left an Expedia site. For example, an visitor might search for and browse for hotels in Venice, leave the site, and later see ads elsewhere for Italian vacations.

The team works with several ad networks and sister companies to make the program work across a wide range websites, some in the comScore top 100, Miller says.

Localizing National Ad Campaigns

September 10th, 2009

National brand marketers are in a challenging position as the power of localized marketing shows positive results. Some marketers need to reach large audiences through nationwide advertising, which makes it hard to localize the ads.

Alistair Goodman, CEO, 1020 Placecast, and his team strive to overcome this challenge–particularly for driving traffic to nearby brick-and-mortar stores. They help marketers run campaigns that are able to detect a consumer’s location and customize the ads to include localized elements.

“An advertiser can run a national campaign but actually create a large amount of local relevance,” Goodman says.

When building a campaign, Goodman’s team first asks marketers for:
o A list of the physical store addresses to which they want to drive traffic
o A profile of their target audience
o The goals of the campaign

This information helps narrow down the exact location of the campaign’s target audience, and helps guide the design of the localized ad. The ad will likely have some consistent elements — such as a product image — and some interchangeable elements — such as a city name, local imagery, or the address of a nearby location.

Knowing which regions to target, the team then finds publishers that have localized content for those regions.

“We create a network of publishers that have what we call location-specific content, where we can apply our approach to targeting,” Goodman says.

These publishers might be local classified, news or events websites. Other publishers, such as travel, weather, and real estate sites, operate nationally but deliver localized content. Visitors to these sites identify themselves as either residing in or interested in certain areas.

Goodman’s team recently worked with Avis Rent A Car to drive people to Avis’ off-airport locations. They were able to create a national campaign that connected ad viewers with the nearest Avis center.

The ads they displayed on regular websites encouraged viewers to click to see a map or book a car. The ads they displayed on mobile websites encouraged viewers to click to call the nearest Avis center.

The team did A/B testing of the localized ads vs. non-localized ads. They saw a 50% higher clickthrough rate on the customized Web ads and a 124% higher click-to-call rate on the customized mobile ads, Goodman says.

“When you’re able to develop a relevant message, you’re able to achieve much stronger results.”

Reaching Local Searchers

May 12th, 2009

I had an interesting conversation with Scott Dunlap, CEO, NearbyNow, last week. NearbyNow helps consumers find products in local stores through its website, mobile apps, and the major search engines.

A consumer looking for a particular product in his or her area will typically be alerted via an email or a text message on the product’s availability. This service has several interesting applications for marketers–such its OnTheWay ads. These ads allow marketers to advertise in the alert messages to consumers who’ve indicated that they’re planning to visit a store near their own.

Some marketers, Dunlap says, have leveraged these ads to emphasize the core motivations that consumers have for searching for local products. The top three motivations that Dunlap’s team has uncovered,:
1. Consumers want the products immediately
2. They want to see, hold, and test the products (particularly relevant for apparel, shoes and gadgets, Dunlap says)
3. They do not like the hassles or costs of shipping

How have these motivations been applied to the ads? Some marketers are pushing immediacy to the extreme. They will give 20% off products in their stores for the next two hours. That can force some consumers to consider visiting the advertiser’s store before visiting their intended destination.

Local search and sales for products–with real time inventory updates–looks like it holds a lot of potential for retailers and brands alike. I expect the major search engines to start rolling out more ways for marketers to connect with consumers looking for products locally.

What’s In Store For Newspapers?

January 29th, 2009

While talking to Gary Meo, Senior VP at Scarborough Research, about new metrics for measuring newspaper audiences, I couldn’t help but ask: What are his thoughts about the future of newspapers and what they need to do to survive.

Gary’s job is to oversee consumer behavior surveys in 81 local markets. His company works with 241 major newspapers in the industry to determine audience size and demographics. Read more…