In 2004 rich media advertising accounted for less than 10 percent of all online advertising. Despite the fact there is always a lot of talk about this solution and the growth of broadband Internet access, investments are still limited. But the situation is going to change soon. A new white paper by eMarketer Rich Media: At the Tipping Point expects revenues from rich media advertising to reach $2.2 billion by 2008 (in the United States). The paper, which is sponsored by Advertising.com, can be downloaded for free (opens .pdf). Among the interesting stats the paper presents, I think the online advertising effectiveness should get particular attention. If compared to traditional banners, rich media usually obtain better click-through rates (look at page 7). Unfortunately, “better” is positive qualification in a comparison, but appears rather disappointing if you look at the rates from an higher perspective. According to Doubleclick, rich media accounted for an average 1.17 percent click-through rate in Q3 2004, which is surely “better” than the 0.20 percent of non rich media ads, but it’s always a very low percentage. Sure, you’ll tell me online advertising is also about branding, but yet, 1.17 still looks very low to me.
Eyeblaster has introduced the VideoStrip ad format, a teaser video within a banner unit that quietly grabs users’ attention and enticing them to interact. Upon rollover or click, the video expands to its full size, remaining perfectly in sync as it fills a full-sized expanded panel. User interaction with the VideoStrip also triggers the audio within the ad. PointRoll instead has announced the launch of FoldOver a new ad format positioned in the upper corner of a publisher’s page. When a user initiates a mouse-over, the ad visually folds over the page, exposing close to a full-page ad. According to Pointroll’s press release, the FoldOver has been already used with satisfaction by Audi in support of the A6 campaign. Rich media ads are becoming more and more important in the marketing mix, as the new 44 customers acquired by Doubleclick’s DART Motif confirms.
Kia Motors is launching a rich media campaign to promote its Kia Sportage SUV. Revolution reports the ads will run for a month on Autotrader, Fish4Cars and eBay. As it happened last year Kia is taking advantage of Eyeblaster’s overlays, created by E3M Media.
The New York Times has redisigned its Automobile section in order to feature larger rich media ads. As an article on ClickZ reports, the new 336 x 280 unit appears on the lower right section of the homepage. The section’s new look provides users with a better navigation experience and advertisers with more specific targeting means.
ClickZ reports Pointroll has introduced a new rich media video ad format. The new offering will allow easily incorporate their TV assets into the rich media provider’s formats. Jupiter Research has recently released a report entitled “The Growth of Online Video Advertising” which investigates the factors that are limiting the growth of this kind of solution.
Online advertising is part of the media mix planned by FedEx to reinforce its Kinko’s business services. DMNews.com explains the “Our Office Is Your Office” campaign will take advantage of tv spots created by BBDO New York as well as radio ads and rich media banners.
Genetsis has developed a banner campaign to promote Fanta Free, a new low calories softdrink just launched in Spain. The creativity includes more than 20 rich media formats, and is based on the concept of “lightness” as the drink itself, allowing users to interact with the ads, moving them around the screen.
Uk agency Moonfish has created a rich media campaign to promote “Zauros” Sharp Electonics’ latest PDA. A brief case study on Moonfish’s site explains the campaign’s concept “Work Hard, Play Hard” the characteristics of the online promotion, supported by a dedicated microsite.
A couple of months ago, IAB issued the guidelines for rich media formats developed by the “Rich Media Task Force”. Now IAB has called for a feedback from the industry, asking marketers, agencies and publishers to fill in a form and share their opinions. To learn more about the initiative, go on MediaPost.
On iMediaConnection Matt Heinz writes “It’s the Message, Stupid“, saying that rich media ads are too much focused on the creative aspects and often miss to communicate a clear advertising message. Matt says:“Rich media advertisements are by their nature more complex. Too often, that complexity leads to complicated ads.”
I think he’s right, most of the times rich media just make people click away since they don’t understand what the ad is about or even worse, what that flashy thing is doing moving around the screen.
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