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Tristitials: The Three-in-One Ad

  |  October 24, 2006   |  Comments

A new format from snap2eyes allows thrifty advertisers to get more bang for their buck.

Recently, I received a solicitation from a publisher pitching a new rotating ad opportunity called Tristitials. The name caught my eye. I hadn't yet heard of Tristitials, so I figured I ought to check it out. I tracked down its creator, snap2eyes LLC, and got the lowdown from its CEO, Gil Lahav.

Hollis Thomases: What is a Tristitial?

Gil Lahav: In the simplest and broadest terms, a Tristitial is a rich media ad that displays three creatives in succession during the same single impression in a way that resembles outdoor advertising's rotating billboards. Publishers can use the Tristitial to allocate the same ad space to three different advertisers, sharing the same ad space, reducing inventory shortages, and increasing revenues per page. Tristitials can also be used by a single advertiser to display three different creatives, much like animated banners already do.

HT: What publisher networks currently offer Tristitials?

GL: Tristitials are still new in the market, having launched only four months ago. Though we have no sales team or marketing budget, some heavy hitters have already run Tristitial trials or house ads, including:

  • Boston.com (the "Boston Globe" online)

  • Variety.com

  • Clear Channel

  • Technorati

  • Revver

  • Ziff Davis' 1up.com

CMP Media, Monster, and Fox Interactive (for MySpace.com) are also in negotiations with us.

HT: Why should an advertiser consider Tristitials?

GL: For cost-conscious advertisers interested in getting their brand out there as much as possible at a substantial discount, the Tristitial can lower CPM costs by sharing ad space. A publisher who might otherwise sell ad space at a $30 CPM can sell a Tristitial ad at $15 CPM, lowering the cost for each advertiser but ultimately increasing its own ad revenue to a $45 CPM. The advertiser, therefore, could use its savings to purchase another Tristitial, doubling its campaign exposure without increasing its original advertising budget.

Premier brands and other advertisers who aren't interested in sharing their ad space can still buy a Tristitial for their own exclusive use.

HT: What makes Tristitials special or more responsive than other forms of ad creative?

GL: A Tristitial is a unique, eye-catching way to accomplish three objectives in a single ad: brand messaging, company/product information, and special promotions. The smooth and engaging transition between images within the Tristitial creates a natural curiosity in the Internet user about what will appear next. The advertiser can present several product images, humor in stages, and/or surprises that require a brief pause between multiple ad banners or messages. The Tristitial is also a new way to showcase sleek graphics or photos.

HT: What are Tristitials' limitations? Are there any impediments to serving or tracking Tristitial ads?

GL: Each creative appearing in the Tristitial must be under 20K and the dimensions of each creative must be identical to that of the other creative appearing in that Tristitial, so production uniformity is an issue. The creative must be in the form of either JPEGs, non-animated GIFs, or non-interactive Flash files. Also, the creative cannot be third-party-served because of Macromedia security restrictions, though we can provide separate tracking for both impressions and click-throughs for the Tristitial ad unit as a whole and for each individual creative within the Tristitial.

HT: Who is producing Tristitials ads? Can any design/creative shop produce them?

GL: Currently only snap2eyes can produce Tristitials, but we're working on a Web-based platform to enable advertisers, ad agencies, and publishers to be able to create Tristitials on a 24/7 self-serve basis.

HT: What should advertising agencies know about Tristitials?

GL: The Tristitial offers agencies a fully customizable template that increases their range of creative interactive offerings. It enables advertising professionals to focus their efforts on creative branding rather than on complex coding. Even if an ad agency already has a Flash or programming team in place, the Tristitials cost only $100 per unit for us to produce, so the production team's time can be put to better use. The agency merely sends us three corresponding banner ads with associated click tags, and we e-mail back a SWF file containing the completed Tristitial. Turnaround takes roughly 24 hours, depending on the size of the order.

Tristitials can be customized in a variety of ways, including ad unit size, animation speed, display time, darkness/lightness of the tile lines, and the number of rotations after which the ad unit becomes static (and stops rotating between creatives). Flash versions can even be paused and restarted by the viewer.

Some Tristitials demos:

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Hollis Thomases

A ClickZ expert columnist since 2005, Hollis Thomases (@hollisthomases) is president and founder of Maryland-based WebAdvantage.net, an online marketing company that provides results-centric, strategic Internet marketing services, including online media planning, SEO, PPC campaign management, social media marketing, and Internet consulting. Author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day and an award-winning entrepreneur, Hollis is the Maryland 2007 SBA Small Business Person of the Year. Hollis speaks extensively on online marketing, having presented for ClickZ, the American Marketing Association, SES, The Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association, The Kelsey Group, and the Vocus Worldwide User Forum. WebAdvantage.net's client list has included Nokia USA, Nature Made Vitamins, Johns Hopkins University, ENDO Pharmaceuticals, K'NEX Construction Toys, and Visit Baltimore. The agency was recognized as a "Small Giant" by the Greater Baltimore Tech Council and was chosen as a "Best Place for Business Women to Work" by "Smart Woman Magazine."

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