ADOTAS EXCLUSIVE — We have seen titanic shifts in advertising over the last few years, from traditional display in print publications, to online banner ads to search engine marketing. So what’s next? One only has to look at the some of the hottest mediums to answer this question: online video platforms, social media, mobile and even video games.
Premium video is hands down the most lucrative online ad platform, while social media is currently the hottest trend. An upcoming Forrester Research report indicates that despite the recession, advertisers plan to boost their spending on social media.
“Marketers will increase spending in social media during a recession as this cost-effective tool set allows customers to spread the word quickly at low cost,” said Jeremiah Owyang, a senior analyst at Forrester. “Secondly, expect an increase in consumer adoption of these tools as people strive to reconnect with former colleagues, polish their personal brands, and get education on new job skills.”
There are varying views on how big this trend will be, EMarketer, expects advertising on social networking sites to rise about 10 percent in 2009 to $1.3 billion. eMarketer, meanwhile, believes that experimental ad formats — including those on social networks — will be hard-hit by the recession.
What’s clear is that clients today want to cut through the clutter and be seen and heard by new and existing clients. With today’s on-the-go technologies becoming less expensive and more mobile, we are seeing new forms of engagement with customers. Here are some new advertising vehicles that you can expect to see more of in the near future as marketers try to capitalize on the latest trends:
‘Widget-ize’ Your Ads – Last year seemed to be the year of the widget. Seemingly, everyone wanted one and they now proliferate web sites and ad networks everywhere, providing entertainment, news, sports, weather and casual games. Widget technology is now merging with ad units. Companies like Snap.com and MediaForge are offering widget-ized ad units that engage viewers in a unique way. When a viewer rolls over a MediaForge ad unit, the ad expands to display a full functioning widget offering a more immersive experience. The widget displays an exclusive product offering, including a picture and the price with a comparison to its retail and discount pricing. Viewers can also browse top sellers and clearance items. They can also dynamically search a retailer’s web site without ever leaving the ad. The ad unit also provides users the option of transporting the widget to their desktop, where they can continue to receive daily special offers.
SnaggableAds – SnaggableAds have a widget component that can be easily grabbed from any PointRoll ad unit and shared across social networks, start pages and blogs. The viral distribution capability of these ads spreads the advertiser’s brand across the Internet, while letting advertisers monitor the widget’s progress and user engagement long after it has been grabbed from the initial ad.
Integrated Content Strategies – Companies like Mochilla are providing a new style of advertising in the form of ‘integrated content,’ which is inserted directly into publishers’ web sites. This provides an entirely new layer of content to tell your stories. They can also include social networking and widget capabilities to expand the engagement.
Mobile Ads – Will this finally be the year of mobile? The iPhone was game changing and perhaps has finally set the foundation for true penetration of the mobile market. With the cost of high-speed networks coming down, and all major manufacturers scrambling to get their touch-screen handheld phones to market, we have seen opportunities open up. People are using their mobile phones to access all types of digital content. This presents a huge opportunity for companies to provide value to clients and engage them in conversational mobile marketing. Recently Papa John’s Pizza launched its mobile pizza ordering application, which has reportedly driven more than one million in revenues.
Video Ads – Video ads are driving one of the highest rates in the online advertising world, with premium video supporting an average CPM of $35. Long form video adoption is also growing. Some 27 percent of Internet users are now watching full-length TV shows online (source: eMarketer 2008). Online video viewers are also 25 percent more engaged with content and 47 percent more engaged with ads, according to a recent study by Simmons.
In-Game and In-Application Ads – We are seeing relevant examples of advertising within games such as the recent example of retailer Guitar Center partnering with Activision to be the in-game virtual music store for its popular video game, Guitar Hero. It appears the combination is a hit as the musical instrument retailing industry has seen record year-over-year competitive store increases since the game was first introduced.
‘Un-Roll’ Ad Units- Blinx, an online video platform, recently launched a new online video ad unit named ‘Un-roll, which features a “branded curtain” that loads while the video buffers. After the curtain opens, an overlay launches while the video plays. All typical video advertising options are available inside the video window and the video ends with the curtain again.
These and other new forms of marketing are emerging and finding receptive audiences in this new socially oriented marketplace.
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