WaPo Preps New Rich Media Ads

Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive plans to develop new ways of implementing rich media ads across its major properties, including Slate.com, WashingtonPost.com, Newsweek.com, and BudgetTravelOnline.com. For the initiative, the company has tapped technology provider CheckM8--developer of the so-called "slider ad"--to power all video ads on the site.

The agreement calls for CheckM8 to create new versions of its "slider ad" rollover units, which have previously appeared on Slate.com and WashingtonPost.com for a host of marketers, including Nissan, Chase Bank, Visa, PBS and the U.S. Telecom Association. The slider ad pushes the content on the Web page down when the site is first loaded, displaying a short video ad, and then slides the content back up when the ad is finished. A user can also opt to close the ad immediately and bring the content back up.

Jeff Burkett, director of sales development for WPNI, said the units were attractive because they don't take up standard ad space; after rolling over, the page returns with all the other ad inventory intact.

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He added that WPNI will look for new ways to implement the slider unit on its properties in the coming weeks. The company already promoted a PBS documentary on Jacques Cousteau with a "reverse" version of the ad, which expanded from the bottom to look like water rising, he said. "We're looking at that kind of thing--unique, customizable implementations that you don't see every day."

WPNI's Web properties have focused on developing new ad units, especially on Slate.com, which has run recent campaigns including an ad-supported novel, a takeover of the front page for PBS's Texas Ranch House, and a "good news gallery" for the Cooper Mini.

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