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Rich Media Rocks 2012: New formats of web advertising to hook consumers

Trevor Yeats, Jon-Paul Stift and Andrew Young of Microsoft highlight the strategies and rich media tools needed to provide the right experience to consumers

Neha Saraiya | Delhi | March 02, 2012

At the Rich Media Rocks 2012 seminar organised by Microsoft Advertising in New Delhi on Thursday, Trevor Yeats, Senior Product Marketing manager, Reserve Media & Advertising Tools, Microsoft Advertising, provided an insight into the new world web advertising formats that Microsoft has developed.

Yeats highlighted the six new creative canvasses of rich media which he termed as ‘Rising Stars’. First is the ‘Filmstrip’ which has turned out to be a powerful canvass for brands to tell their stories. Companies like Volkswagen, Coca-Cola, Disney and Ford are using filmstrips for their web advertising with great success. The biggest advantage of the filmstrip format is that there is motion that does not disturb the web page content.

Yeats suggested that an engaging filmstrip should tell a story and give a reason to consumers to interact with the brand. It should also take into account features like sound and motion by inviting consumers to be a voice of the brand.

Besides film strips, ‘billboard’, ‘Push down’, ‘Sidekick’, ‘Slider’ and ‘Portrait’ are the other formats developed by Microsoft Advertising. They enable brands to effectively and non-intrusively engage consumers by “inviting them to explore”.

Jon-Paul Stift, Solution Sales Specialist, Microsoft Advertising, highlighted the ‘attribution analysis’. He said, “Brands, rich media and display advertising impact user propensity to purchase. Frequency of ads will cause a user to visit a website.”

Andrew Young, Regional Partner Manager, Digital Marketing Platform Group, Microsoft, took the audience back to 1996 when Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft, coined the term “content is king -- attract, engage, convert”. In other words, engaging advertising needs to have great content to hook the user/consumer on the web.

He emphasised that companies should focus on providing rich content experiences to the consumer. There should be “responsive design”, “mobile design improvements” and a “multi-screen approach”.

Young shared interesting numbers like 78 per cent of consumers trust peer recommendation; 96 per cent of 18-35-year-olds are on a social network wherein the average Facebook user has 120 friends; 34 per cent of bloggers post opinions about products and brands. He said, “Social marketing really starts getting over the brands on Facebook. But ultimately we want to be social for people who have opinion about brands.”

On the search engine front, he ideated a situation of implicit “zero-term” search where there is not even a single key word for a search. He also commented, “We can follow the consumer through the entire journey rather than an ad.”

Oded Lida Greiss, VP for Emerging Markets, MediaMind, said, “Engagement is the key point of which rich media gives this opportunity. The worst error in digital marketing will be to lose sight of the consumer. Don’t let the user leave without knowing who he/she is.”

Greiss mentioned that 99 per cent of advertisers just focus at the surface level to get quick interaction; “nobody tries to get deep enough to actually to grow with the user”. Only 1 per cent manages to create relationships with their consumers.

The conclusion at the end of the seminar was: With the web becoming complex, brands need to invent new rules to engage consumers and make them a part of the brand story.


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