ShopLocal signed with DoubleClick to distribute its geo-targeted "online circular" ad unit through the DART Motif rich media platform. The product was previously in beta on newspaper sites and through DoubleClick, but will now become available to additional publishers.
The rich media unit first appeared during the summer with a CVS campaign on Tribune Interactive sites and another for Walgreens. In addition to the pharma companies, ShopLocal has about six clients negotiating contracts or about to start campaigns.
Newspaper Web sites are a natural fit for an online circular unit, though not the only target for the product. ShopLocal hopes to hit newspapers and portals for their ability to identify users by location through registration data. The deal with DoubleClick makes the "SmartMedia" unit available to a wider range of publishers and advertisers.
"From a publisher's standpoint, assuming they can make a case to a retailer that they have a localized audience or a shopping audience, the publisher can sell inventory to the advertiser," said Bob Armour, VP of marketing and business development at ShopLocal.
The ad unit is a joint offering. DoubleClick will make it available to all of its clients, and ShopLocal will do the same. DoubleClick said there is overlap between the two companies and sees synergy in the deal.
The rich media unit emulates the shopping circular distributed in local newspapers and in stores, highlighting special sales on what's in stock at a given location. Users can scroll through the week's sale items and select product categories to find more specific offers. In some cases coupons can be printed and brought to the store. Each ad is geographically aware, and can pull regional store data based on a user's site registration or IP address info.
"It can look the way the client wants it," said Armour. "There's multiple implementations. There is no defined structure, it's what works in the context of the site, and what the advertiser wants."
Advertisers update their weekly sales in a template and can change out the creative with each rotation. "It is live data, so you get only the most recent data in the ad," said DoubleClick VP of Rich Media Ari Paparo. Reporting includes post-click measurement.
PointRoll began offering a similar unit almost a year ago.
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