Record Industry Embraces Web Ads
The rich-media effort features streaming music video clips and audio samples from Cole's new album, as well as the option to enter a contest to win jewelry, a direct link to Cole's Web site, and a function to IM the ad to a friend. The ads are run on rich media company Klipmart's platform, and produced by Interscope's agency of record, Deep Focus. Similar campaigns for other music acts--including Black Eyed Peas and Tupac--started in April, and have run for three weeks.
Deep Focus's CEO, Ian Schafer, said that because the ads include several audio files and longer video files, viewers tend to interact with them longer--two to three minutes on average. "The idea here is to keep audiences involved as long as possible," Schafer said. "A lot of that has to do with the volume of the content that's in there. In some cases, we'll have a clip from a music video online--in some cases we'll have three-minute-long commercial video in there," he said. "Any given ad will have between two and five audio tracks to choose from, too."
Klipmart's director of business development, Mark Wilson, said the appeal of the online rich media ads to Interscope was both the ability to target to their key audience, and the ability to leverage the video and audio content they already had in the creative. "We're able to target to a specific demographic, but we can also utilize the assets that they have--audio clips and video assets like music videos or a live clip from a recent show," he said, adding: "We're bringing the elements that the music companies really want to push straight to the audience."
Wilson said that in the past, record labels have been reluctant to advertise on the Web because of their battle over piracy with Napster and other file-sharing outfits. "The record companies have shied away from the Internet because of whatever legal issues they've been having with Napster and file-sharing," he said. "They look at the Internet as a place they really don't want to be spending money on advertising, but now they're realizing that they can really target to a selective and Web-savvy audience."