If they deem your display ad is interesting enough, can your consumers download it and put it on their own Web site? Clearspring Technologies is making it possible to do just that with its Clearspring for Advertisers system for distributing widgets the same way standard banner ads are distributed.
At ad:tech in New York this week, Clearspring officially launched the system, having tested it for the past six months with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the CW Television Network, Comedy Central, DreamWorks Animation, and Warner Bros. Previously widgets could be shared virally or from a company's Web site. The new system works with ad serving systems from DoubleClick and Mediaplex in that it provides widgets to publisher sites through the same mechanism as they distribute standard banner ads, but the widgets can be downloaded and reposted to other Web sites or blogs.
Initial campaigns using the Clearspring system for Sony includ creating and sharing widgets for the films "Superbad" and "Resident Evil:Extinction," while the CW used it to create a widget promoting its "Gossip Girl" TV series to positive results, according to Peggy Fry, senior vice president of sales for Clearspring.
"They ran the 'Gossip Girl' widget ad on the MySpace page, and received between 3,000 and 5,000 of grabs from that page. Those fans were able to share that widget with their friends on their page," she said.
As part of allowing viewers to share the widget ads, the Clearspring for Advertisers system also provides metrics of where they are being shared and how often, so advertisers can alter their buying strategy, she said.
"They are able to see what views have been received to the widget, locations of where it's living, and they are able to look by domain to see which hubs are generating the most grabs for them. Is Facebook generating more grabs than mySpace for instance," Fry said.
Although it does allow the ad widgets to be widely shared and distributed, the system provides for companies to remove their widget ads from sites where they don't want it shared, or in a case where their brand is associated with questionable content, as much as that's possible online.
"We have the ability through our platform to blacklist. So the publisher has control of where their widgets are landing and are able to pull it down. That being said, it is the Web, and things like that happen," Fry said.
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