In the US 38 percent of all home Internet users now connect to the Internet via broadband. And, as a consequence, advertisers are increasing the use of rich media in their online campaigns. The data are provided by Nielsen/Netratings, in an article on Network World, which explains that in November 2003, 17% of all online advertising impressions were rich media ads, compared to only 7% in November 2002. Marc Ryan, director of analysis, Nielsen//NetRatings said:“Broadband enables both content providers and online advertisers to create more rich media based content. This rich media based content leverages the power of television as a medium and brings it to the Internet offering Internet users a �best of both worlds� experience.�
General Motors has started a $50 millions campaign to promote its brands in the US with the “Hot Button” program. The first step has been sending out a direct mail piece to 6 million consumers nationwide and will include television, print, Internet and public relations. As explained by DMNews.com on a special web address US consumers have the chance to win one of the 1,000 that GM is giving away until February 29.
“Where is my gnome?” asks in its latest campaign the veteran travel site Travelocity. As explained on IAR the $80 million campaign, launched this week, is the largest in Travelocity’s history and is aimed to regain market share and “fight” the competition of Expedia.
On eMarketer there’s an analysis of the travel industry contribution to online advertising in 2003. In the US in the first half of 2003, the industry accounted for nearly 24% of online advertising spending among top 200 brands in the US with total spending surpassing $71 million.
The new MSN looks new and improved to advertisers eyes as well. As announced in a press release, MSN now offers advertisers new advertising options, including TV-like ads, via a new, free, streaming-video service, an expandable ad space on the homepage and Universal Ad Package (UAP) standardized ads. Joanne Bradford, vice president and chief media revenue officer of MSN said:“MSN has taken online advertising to the next level by offering a rich array of innovative options for advertisers. The 50 percent revenue growth we’ve experienced in our advertising business over the past year demonstrates how important online advertising has become and specifically how MSN has solidified itself as a top media property across all media.”
The video ads offer looks particularly interesting, if this kind of ads will be able to create the same emotional impact of television.
On ClickZ, Jeremy Lockhorn has compiled his wishlist for Christmas 2004. He complains about the lack of standards for rich media ads and wishes the industry will soon come up with guidelines. Basically he says that agencies and marketers are learning to build engaging interactive experiences using rich media ads but…“Powerful ideas get bogged down, and sometimes destroyed, by the disparity of standards, especially when it comes to things like K-weight.”
I agree with Jeremy, there’s too much chaos in the rich media world and this might prove negative both for consumers and for the online industry itself. In the UK the IAB has formed a Rich Media Standards Task Force (RMSTF), it should soon come up with standards which will provide guidelines for file weights, browser compatibility and frequency capping.
In a new campaign entitled “Project: Real People” Yahoo! Personals will feature singles who are currently using the service to connect and communicate with prospective dates. According to a market research performed by the Company on a focus group: “nearly 70 percent of singles felt most advertisement models were unreal, impersonal and unattainable.” In the press release, Katie Mitic, vice president and general manager for Yahoo! Personal said:“Building loyalty through being responsive to customer needs and helping singles feel comfortable within a dating community are key elements to success in the online dating industry. ‘Project: Real People’ illustrates Yahoo! Personals’ commitment to creating a high-quality environment for singles to meet and interact — the campaign also brings online dating to life in a way that has never been done before.”
MediaPost has published today an article with the best interactive agencies of 2003. The winner is mOne, that works for Ameritrade, Ibm and Cisco, while the silver medal goes to OMD Digital, who has accounts like Dell Home Systems, Dannon, Neutrogena, and United Airlines. The third place is for Avenue A, followed by Starcom IP. The article is nice because it doesn’t simply provide standings but also provides opinions and comments about agencys’ recent jobs.
Midland Expressway has decided to use an online banner campaign on Multimap to support its advertising push promoting the new M6 Toll Road. As explained on Brand Republic, the ads appear on Multimap whenever users view maps or routes of the area around the M6. Online advertising is really for everything!
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