Universal Taps Twitter Buzz In Rich Media Ads
Consumers will start seeing the ads in late June, according to Doug Neil, SVP of digital marketing at Universal Pictures. "We know video catches peoples' eyes, but once you have their attention, you want to engage them around other content to sell the movie," he said.
Universal summer releases include "Land of the Lost," "Drag Me To Hell," "Public Enemies," "Bruno," and "Funny People." Neil declined to name the movie titles expected to have Twitter feeds, but did reveal that the rich media banner ad for "Land of the Lost" will include a game.
Interpolls will integrate the Twitter feeds into the HTML-based interactive banner ads, along with RSS feeds that dynamically update content and provide the viewer with games, movie trailers and more. Some recent ads such as "Fast & Furious" have featured showtimes at local theaters.
Technology now enables the ad to identify the location of the person viewing the page to serve up local listings and showtimes at theaters without the necessity of a consumer entering a ZIP code.
Universal has an aggressive mobile ad strategy, too. "My initial thoughts were it's difficult to communicate a film in that small space on the screen," Neil said. "There's hardly enough room for the title, but we've seen three to four times the usual click-through in the mobile space."
Cell phones are empowering consumers as they shop. And more people have begun to look up movie times using the screen as another connection to data on the Web. In fact, Neil said, 20-22% of people under age 24 search for movie information on a cell phone.
Studios have been adopting rich media ads for years to sell sight, sound and motion. Aside from "Fast & Furious," other recent movies with aggressive rich media campaigns include "The Last House on the Left," "The Unborn," "The Tale of Despereaux," and "The Mummy."
Neil said the price to serve up rich media ads rises slightly, but the increase pays off in the long run because it provides consumers with a better experience.