PointRoll Spawns A New Child--TomBoy

by , May 14, 2004, 12:00 AM
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Who in the interactive industry isn't familiar with the PointRoll children: FatBoy, BadBoy, and TowelBoy? Today, PointRoll gives birth to its fourth child TomBoy, a gender-neutral enabling technology aptly named for its ad unit-neutrality.

PointRoll claims that TomBoy's value proposition to advertisers and agencies lies in the fact it can be deployed using any Web design tool, to any existing ad space, and file sizes can be unlimited.

PointRoll says TomBoy ads may contain any combination of messaging or imagery--video, audio, animation, Flash, Java, Gif, or JPEG. Within a TomBoy ad, says Jules Gardner, president-CEO, PointRoll, "you can build your own Web site if you want," in addition to being able to "track every conceivable action inside the ad."

According to Gardner, TomBoy won't expand, unlike other PointRoll offerings, because he says there's no need for it to. PointRoll's new ad campaign for the format says TomBoy offers advertisers "more K than you know what to do with."

Despite the Interactive Advertising Bureau's display ad guidelines, publishers often have different ad unit specifications, which can be frustrating for creative and media departments that need to tailor each ad to individual size limitations. With TomBoy, Gardner says: "Creative doesn't have to think about size limitations anymore."

Robert Levitan, strategic marketing avisor, PointRoll, explains: "Anything you can put on a Web site, you can put inside a TomBoy ad." He says that it's a product that's essentially "been around since day one," but is only now being launched as a stand-alone. Even a tiny 88 x 31-size unit could play an 80 K size file if it were powered by TomBoy, Levitan says.

TomBoy is less a new ad unit than it is an enabling technology. It enables creative to be delivered in any dimension, and appear on any Web site. Like all the other kids, TomBoy delivers reporting metrics that allow advertisers to track performance and measure ad effectiveness. PointRoll also employs a creative team that can help advertisers develop and optimize campaigns.

PointRoll says that TomBoy ads can run within any size ad unit; advertisers create one ad and TomBoy technology appropriates it to a publisher's stated dimensions.

Like the other boys, TomBoy will also be available to PointRoll's PointRoll Included publisher network. PointRoll Included allows participating publishers to incorporate PointRoll's rich media technologies within their bottom line.

Gardner says that the success of the Included network, which includes prominent publishers like the New York Times Digital and BusinessWeek Online, is indicative of the strength of the expanding rich media market.

Gardner says that PointRoll is taking a "rising tides lift all boats" attitude to the development of its business, and rich media in general. "Everyone is fighting for more share of the rich media pie," he says, citing Unicast and EyeWonder--both out with new products--and other providers of rich and streaming video products.

"But," Gardner adds, "publishers are really doing their part ... They also want advertisers to provide good creative, because it means more money for them."

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