ABCNews.com Has a Winner
"We started in '97 with banners and buttons, but we've started experimenting," says senior vice president general manager Bernard Gershon. It has used Eyeblaster rich media units, plans to use EyeWonder streaming TV commercials and has introduced its own version of the "Bigger Impression," a 250 x 250 pixel unit that plays on the home page.
The site generates 11 million unique visitors per month, according to Jupiter Media Metrix.
It also developed a full page Intro ad that plays with animation for seven seconds while the page loads. It plays only one day a week and users see it once. After they see it, it becomes a Big Impression, which reinforces the brand message without inundating the user. The idea is to "balance the ad unit and the user experience," Gershon says.
The Intro ad has been used twice, by Schering-Plough and American Express. Schering-Plough used it this spring as part of the Clarinex launch, a major d to c campaign to introduce the tiny blue pill for allergies that is the successor to Claritin. TV, radio and print were also used, according to spokesman Bill O'Donnell. The company also developed a specialty Web site for the drug. The Intro unit was one of the biggest parts of the online campaign for Clarinex, although O'Donnell wouldn't be more specific. "We used banners on other sites," he says.
The campaign generated high levels of certain branding metrics, such as behavior intent. But Molly Hislop, vice president of research services at Dynamic Logic, which performed the study, says it measured behavior intent, because it couldn't measure actual purchases, since the ads don't promote purchase, but consultations with doctors. "For the pharmaceutical category, we can't measure success by sales, but by behavior intent," she says.
Still, the intent was there, so ABCNews thinks it has a winner. There has also been success with Eyeblasters, including one for Visa that ran during the Winter Olympics and included an image of the ABCNews.com sports page covered with ice, which was cleaned by a Zamboni, which resolved to a Skyscraper after seven seconds, Gershon says.
"We're trying to give advertisers ammunition," he says. "Online is a strong branding vehicle that supports TV campaigns and increases metrics. We're in a position to help drive traffic and enhance the brand value of a product."