DoubleClick Takes Wraps Off Rich Media Product

  |  July 14, 2003   |  Comments

DART Motif, designed in collaboration with Macromedia, aims to strip the complexity and high costs from deploying rich media.

DoubleClick and Macromedia officially unveiled their highly anticipated rich media product Monday, aiming to take many of the headaches out of deploying rich media.

DART Motif is an all-in-one solution that offers advertisers and publishers a platform for creating, trafficking and measuring rich media advertising, nearly all of which uses Macromedia's Flash. The idea is to take out the need for an independent third-party rich media vendor, allowing publishers and agencies to work with a single solution that saves time and money.

DoubleClick announced 30 clients for DART Motif, ranging from publishers like washingtonpost.com to agencies like Beyond Interactive and Universal McCann. The company rolled out a Motif beta program in June with 30 partners.

While enjoying robust adoption -- rich media accounted for 28 percent of all ads DoubleClick served in the first quarter -- the deployment of rich media has been much more complex than the process used with regular Internet ads. DoubleClick argues that a separate vendor in the process has needlessly complicated it, leading not only to higher costs and inefficiencies but more trafficking errors and inconsistent reporting metrics.

DoubleClick said DART Motif will cut the time needed to create and serve a rich media ad from up to three weeks to just a day or two.

"We think there's room for tremendous growth" in rich media, said Doug Knopper, DoubleClick's vice president and general manager of online advertising. "We think one of drawbacks has been the complexity. Creating and deploying a rich media ad is still very difficult. "

DART Motif ads will be integrated within Flash, meaning ad designers can easily create the ads within their standard authoring tool, Knopper said. In addition, Motif gives designers an easier trafficking process. DART for Advertisers customers can get centralized reports that will allow them to compare the performance of rich media ads to non-rich media ads.

However, they will need to wait until November before receiving multi-event reporting, which gives information on how a user interacts with a rich media ad.

"That's the whole game," said Nate Elliott, an analyst with Jupiter Research, which is owned by the parent company of this site. "Motif can introduce efficiency into authoring and trafficking, but none of that matters if you don't have the multi-event reporting in place."

Elliott said that the product is unlikely to make a big splash until it includes multi-event reporting and builds a list of publishers that includes the AOL, MSN and Yahoo.

"This is going to be a really nice tool when it's done, but it's just not done," he said.

DoubleClick's long-awaited product could potentially spur rich media adoption, according to industry analysts. It could also alter the landscape of the fledgling industry, which up until now has been dominated by independent vendors like Eyeblaster and Unicast.

Knopper said such rich media vendors would have a continued role in moving the industry forward.

"Fourth parties will offer tremendous value," he said. "They will be solving problems. I think you'll see them focus, I hope, on how we increase the effectiveness of the medium overall."

DoubleClick's Motif will also face competition from aQuantive's Atlas DMT unit, which has an offering of its own. On the heels of the DoubleClick announcement, Atlas DMT announced it had buffed up its Atlas Digital Marketing Suite to include a brand exposure metric that helps to quantify the impact of rich media ads.

Although DoubleClick has the advantage of its nine-month-old partnership with Macromedia, Atlas DMT supports the Flash Multi-tracking Kit, which it argues gives it de facto integration with Flash's authoring tools.

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