Still Photos Open Ecommerce Door To Ad Campaigns


Stipple launched an ad platform that turns still images into ecommerce storefronts. The platform allows consumers to mouse over any product in a tagged photograph in online magazines or publisher Web sites to reveal brand name, pricing and links to save or make purchases.

Stipple CEO Rey Flemings refers to the platform as AdWords for images. "The tool lets consumers discover the brand's name and buy the product through the photo," he said. "If you can start an AdWords campaign, you can start a campaign in Stipple. It's a performance-based platform. Brands only pay when highly targeted consumers come to the store."

Some photographs generate 25 million page views in 30 days. If consumers can't determine the brand name or where to buy it, marketers won't sell many more items, Flemings said.

Brands lose millions in revenue each month simply by not tagging their products in Web photos. An actor walking down the red carpet during a movie premiere might have his picture taken more than 1,000 times. Finding and tagging all those photos could become a nightmare for the brand. This platform helps to solve that problem by automating the system.

Kleiner Perkins, Mike Maples and Justin Timberlake are early investors in the company. William Rast, BCBG, and Rent the Runway are among the first brands to adopt the platform.

To make it possible, Stipple inked deals to license photos with agencies, providing the ability to add the button that lets consumers "Want" or "Shop" the product. It made the photograph the piece of the ad campaign. Clicking on the Want or Shop button leads the consumer to a landing page where the brand can provide more information or lead the consumer to buy.

Through online tags, the platform allows brands to credit their products in images placed on Web sites. Brands and retailers can create advertising campaigns around products, based on the items in photos. Brand marketers tag a photo with accurate product information, and Stipple's technology syndicates that information to all online copies of that image -- and its related images -- across the Web.

Marketers then set up pay-per-click or pay-per-engagement campaigns around the products they wish to monetize. Advertisers also gain real-time data and analytics on each campaign's performance. The product information, initiated by the brand, ensures an accurate experience for consumers.

On average, about 13% of those who see a photograph mouse over an object in it. Of those, about 2% will click the "Shop" button, Flemings said.


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