Commentary

Martini Connects Big Brands, Niche Social Audiences

Niche audiences inhabiting “long tail” sites present something of a dilemma for marketers: desirable because they’re highly engaged, their relatively small numbers (on any one site) nevertheless make it difficult to achieve scale. Martini Media is hoping to change that with a series of new ad programs offering rich media ads with story-telling capabilities on a variety of niche sites, including those with a high proportion of affluent audience members.

The first Martini Media program, a threefold “Portrait” introduced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, offers advertisers a combination of banner, video, text and social media feeds in one oversized ad unit. This rich media push is new for most of the participating sites, according to Bill Rowley, senior vice-president for business development and Publishing at Martini, who noted that the majority of Martini sites have not run interactive ads before.

The Martini portrait is rolling out on long-tail sites offering a total 100 million page views, with launch advertisers including MINI, Victoria’s Secret and Visa -- reflecting the affluent profile of Martini’s target audience, which consists of consumers making over $100,000 per year. According to research from Ipsos Mendelsohn cited by Martini, these consumers buy twice as often as the general public and spend three times as much per purchase, covering a range of goods and services, from home wares to travel.

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Another study sponsored by Martini Media, “Beyond Influence,” showed that affluent consumers prioritize niche sites that correspond to their personal passions, from food to finance to travel. These niche sites account for a significant portion of affluent consumers’ online conversations -- e.g., sharing content, comment strings, and so on. Thus, in addition to being affluent themselves, these niche audiences wield disproportionate influence through social media.

Social sharing is a central part of the Martini portrait unit, which includes a sharing module that the advertisers can customize across any social media function. For example, an Investopedia user can follow MINI Twitter updates without leaving the Investopedia site; another option allows advertisers to integrate their Facebook pages, letting a user follow their updates and like their page directly from the ad. The portrait also allows users to view and add to photo galleries on sites like Flickr.

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