Rich Media Vaults Some Polls

Rich media providers continue to search for ways to fuse marketing initiatives with content. The latest example: PointRoll's Pollster, an interactive polling feature advertisers can add to their campaigns. It will be followed by a similar offering from rival rich media provider EyeBlaster in October.

As viewers interact with a Pollster-enabled ad, the results are configured for marketers in real time. Survey respondents can also share opinions and comments while advertisers observe. As a result, the new feature also provides advertisers with instantaneous market research to fine-tune their campaigns.

The content of each survey is determined by the advertiser. A retailer, for example, could ask consumers some personal preference questions and then recommend a camera to them based on their personality type. Results can also lead to Web site links for advertisers who prefer to take a branding approach.

EyeBlaster, meanwhile has scheduled an October release for its Rich Media Platform 5.7, which will add a feature allowing users to cast votes and see real-time poll results directly within the ad units.

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"Our product research shows that consumers of online ads enjoy advertisements that are engaging, but not intrusive," said Chris Saridakis, chief operating officer of PointRoll. "The ultimate goal is to take the ad unit and make it as engaging as the content," he added, noting that the impetus for the new feature came mostly from consumer package goods companies that wanted to connect with the end-user.

Saridakis noted that advertisers can use the new feature for branding or direct marketing purposes, but in both cases they will be able to take consumer-generated information about brands, products and positioning back with them. "One of the big challenges in market research is direct contact with the end-user," he said. The new feature has attracted movie studios, several TV networks, car manufacturers, retailers, and consumer package goods advertisers according to Saridakis.

The company says advertisers who design ads on the PointRoll Included Network, "typically get to use the technology at no added charge." The Included network consists of 15 Web publishers that offer PointRoll's technology in their ad units. Recent network additions include Alloy, Accuweather, Bloomberg and Homestore.

PointRoll works with more than 400 advertisers many Web publishers including the Big 3: Yahoo! America Online, and MSN.

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