Friday, September 26, 2008

Creative Strategy for Rich Media

DoubleClick was one of the first ad serving agencies and now offers a broad range of services to marketers. Because of the ad serving activity they have a lot of data and they’ve used it to provide many useful reports. I recently came across their “Creative Insights for Rich Media” report, which can be found on their Research Reports page (under the Insights and Innovations tab).

I was especially interested in the video formats although the report contains data on standard ad formats, with and without video. Here’s a table that summarizes the data related to video.

Video Formats


Expanding Video

Expanding Non-Video

In-Page Video

Click-Through Rate

Larger creative sizes give higher click-through rates

Interaction Rate

In-page and larger creative sizes give higher interaction rate

Interaction Time

Format plays little role in interaction time (content is key)

Expansion Rate

Video formats produce higher expansion rates than non-video ads

Video Complete Rate

More videos are completed in expanding formats; even more in the in-page format. Fewer auto-play videos are completed than are user-initiated videos

The report concludes with two recommendations, both of which sound like no-brainers.

  1. The marketer must know the definitions and methodology behind the metrics she is using. We all know CTR; the definitions of the interactive metrics are more complex. Those definitions are detailed on page 13 of the report.
  2. "Only compare and contrast data that comes from the same system and that adheres to the same methodology." That sounds pretty straightforward also--right? For example, it's all DoubleClick data; isn't it comparable. No. They point out that they've updated some of the computations of some of their metrics recently--and other producers of metrics do the same. The marketer has to be vigilant, even when tracking the same metrics over time.

As I read the report, I remembered that used to have a really explanation of rich media formats, including video, on their advertising page. So I went there to look for it. On the way I got sidetracked.

I saw the ABC ad on the MSN home page and decided to "Visit"

There's lots of media on the site; that's no surprise. Actually, I was most interested in the banner at the top showing Bill Gates. It invited me to "rollover" and I did.

That opened a page at Microsoft; apparently a new marketing program, "A PC is not a stereotype," whatever that means. It's some interactive "advertainment"--you can see who's a pc, or in the other tab you can see what you'd look like in various advertising venues--Times Square, for example.

Quite a few people have uploaded pictures to play their game. I expanded Steve Ballmer's picture. I love it when CEOs participate!

By that time I was tired, and the post is getting too long anyway. MSN has improved their rich media formats page since I was last there and they have an excellent creative gallery. Check them out for yourself. And think about the power of these new media!

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