"Someone selling rich media might want to think of something more attractive, but the name 'rich media' fits, so we're going to stick with it," concluded David Bryant, Digitas New York's vice president and creative director.
Mitch Rose, vice president of marketing at PointRoll, conceded that like it or not, people consistently prefer news and entertainment content over the advertising that accompanies it.
"The point," said Rose, "is that we have to respect why [users] are on the page before we can serve effective advertising." And effective ad serving has nothing to do with "push" marketing, and everything to do with attracting and inviting users, as well as the three "r's"--relevancy, relationships, and remarkable advertising.
In addition, several trends were noted, including synchronization--when two or more ads on one page act in unison to sell something; the addition of more information on ads themselves rather than taking consumers to another page on another Web site; and heightened engagement and interactivity.
Eyeblaster's CEO Gal Trifon shared some examples of each. One Australian rugby spot streams a play and then asks viewers to call it--whether a player broke some rugby rule, or not--by clicking yes or no. Once this is decided, the user is shown how the referee called the play, as well as other users as a percentage.
Another trend is the newfound understanding by clients that rich media's utility extends beyond mere direct response to include pure brand awareness.
"The focus is moving away from the number of people you can reach to the impact of each individual interaction," Digitas' Bryant said. "Rich media has the best impact."