by Dave Chase, MSN Industry Relations Director
Internet publishers work hard to persuade advertisers that we’re not too different from other media. We offer the rich media formats that today’s consumers expect. Audiences that can be segmented and targeted. And an ad buying process soon to be on par with TV and print.
At the same time, we want to celebrate the unique power and magic of our venue. That magic largely comes from a trait called interactivity, a genuine genetic difference between online and offline media.
Interactivity is what affords customers the opportunity to mix and mingle with your brand instantly and at anytime. Interactivity is what happens when the throngs of product researchers “click to learn more.” Or mouse over a widget image to see another view. Or trigger a dazzling Flash page or download a fact-packed white paper. Interactivity can generate a branding experience unlike any other medium, playing a vital step in the purchase process.
Online advertisers, who rightly focus on targeting relevant buyers and direct response sales, often overlook the strong branding benefits that interactivity fosters. That’s why the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) this summer launched its own year-long branding campaign to create greater awareness of this six-syllable concept.
The IAB’s Interactive Branding Campaign has adopted the slogan “Interactive: It’s the Active Ingredient.” Ads are now running on 20 online publications and in print publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Forbes — reinforcing the IAB’s understanding of the power of cross-media campaigns (the IAB worked with MSN on groundbreaking cross media research). Also worth noting is that all the strategizing, creative work and ad space has been donated by IAB members, another encouraging example of industry collaboration.
Ad Standard Update: The IAB last week endorsed a Universal Ad Package, four ad standard units it’s urging publishers to adopt over the next 18 months. MSN and the other prominent networks played a large role in creating this package after considerable input from online marketers. This is a monumental step for the industry. As this Ad Age piece poignantly points out, establishing these core ad formats should alleviate much of the cost and inefficiency ad agencies suffer from having to repeatedly tweak ad specs for different publishers. [24×7]
Dave Chase is Industry Relations Director for MSN and chair of the IAB’s Chief Marketing Officer Committee, which oversees the Interactive Branding Campaign.
He writes for MSN’s Advantage Marketing, a potent marketing resource located at http://advantage.msn.com/home/home.asp