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BizReport : Advertising archives : April 19, 2010

How to get more from rich media ads

The recent partnership between rich media ad solution Unicast and Microsoft has many marketers wondering what more can be done with rich media. The partnership makes it simpler for brands to consolidate rich media metrics, in turn giving the brand more time to focus on the next campaign. What more can rich media offer brands? Read on for our chat with James Dillon of Unicast.

by Kristina Knight

The big benefit of rich media is the engagement factor. Not only does rich media, including video and clickable content, give marketers more options for ads but consumers become more engaged because they can do something with that content.

"We view the inventory [of rich media] as an open canvas and have been working with publishers, agencies and advertisers to find new ways to engage and influence consumers," said James Dillon, senior vice president of global sales and solutions with Unicast.

One key, according to Dillon, is to switch up advertising. Rather than always advertising in the pre-roll position or rather than always offering a :30 spot, brands and marketers should consider alternative rich media formats.

"We're seeing more and more interest from advertisers wanting to push the boundaries within their pages, and not just with traditional IAB ad unit dimensions," said Dillon. "As we execute more and more custom ads with our clients that break through the 'noise' of the more standard units, we've seen consumer engagement rise against benchmarks. As consumers become more and more comfortable digesting content online (video, news, social media sharing, etc.), you are seeing a shift in the mindset of advertisers with their comfort level in offering a very rich, immersive ad experience."

Second, Dillon advises marketers to consider both the goal of the campaign and the audience demographic in choosing the type of message to use.

"There are best practice standards that we share with our clients every day to help them maximize the effectiveness of their rich media ad executions," said Dillon. "For an ad execution to be successful it has to be visually compelling and to the point. Advertisers need to stay true to their message, but not be afraid to try new things."

One trend Dillon is seeing is the push to add search functionality into rich media ad units. This could be pushed from a recent study connecting search and display; marketers may hope that as display continues to push search results, the same can hold true for rich media.

"As Google continues to push further into the advertising space and with the introduction of Bing, look for search to be an emerging topic in online advertising in the future," said Dillon. "At Unicast, we're always researching market trends, evaluating new technologies and talking to our clients to build new products and formats for the marketplace. As with features such as search integration, our approach is to absorb what's happening in the marketplace and then to use that knowledge to innovate and build the best products to serve our clients' needs."

Tags: rich advertising, rich media, rich video, Unicast, video ads, video marketing

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