Yahoo Shows Brand Advertising Muscle with New Mini-Sites

  |  December 1, 2006   |  Comments

The publisher will sell its new "brand universes" on a section-specific basis and at higher CPMs than other areas.

Direct response ad king Google may be hinting at creating more viable options for big brand advertisers, but Yahoo is already there. The company's latest plan to build online environments dedicated to entertainment brands is no exception. Recognizing users often convene around TV shows, films and games, the portal has begun building content hubs centered on the most popular among them.

The publisher is shaking up the traditional branded entertainment model, however: It hasn't solicited a cent from these companies to create its "brand universes."

The first of a proposed hundred such mini-sites connects several disparate Yahoo properties and applications. Yahoo Games visitors will stumble upon a branded locale focused on all things Nintendo Wii, including a buyer's guide, store locater, Ebay auctions, a message board and Wii-related Yahoo Answers posts.

Since the recent public leak of an internal memo, Yahoo has elicited much speculation over its ability to unify the tools and content areas it's developed and acquired over the years, and the branded site plan is one manifestation of that potential.

"This just makes it tangible -- the value of having all these assets and being able to integrate them," Yahoo's head of games, entertainment and youth, Vince Broady, told ClickZ News

User-submitted videos in the new section show game aficionados as they queued up in the wee hours to snag the coveted Wii, along with players testing their prowess on newly-scored systems. The branded site's homepage highlights Flickr photos along with MyWeb- and blog posts tagged with keyword "Wii." Users can test out a featured Wii game, and suit up their Yahoo Avatars with virtual Wii-related accoutrements.

But there's no paid Nintendo branding to be found. Instead, ads for Ubisoft Entertainment's "Rayman Raving Rabbids" game and an upcoming flick featuring Jack Black and Cameron Diaz abound.

"Ninety-five percent of the impressions there are from Ubisoft," said Broady. "There will be specific advertisers associated with [the mini-sites]," he added. "[Advertisers are] not going to accidentally end up in one of these areas." Yahoo also anticipates charging higher CPM rates for inclusion in the sections than it does elsewhere.

Creating a space based on the Nintendo brand was "the single best choice we could make," said Broady. "We had indication that the Wii would capture the popular imagination....It also has user-generated potential," he added, noting the physical interaction component of the games would inspire people to capture their playing on video. In addition to the CGM video possibilities, the decision to focus on television and film brands also will create "a huge opportunity for video to play a big part in the equation," in terms of content and in-stream advertising, continued Broady.

"We undertook this initiative to try to understand the brands our users really care about; we're putting the users first," he said. The publisher hopes the brands themselves and other endemic advertisers, such as retailers or game development firms, will opt to buy in the new sections. "There's a whole ecosystem of advertisers that can serve as an advertiser pool," said Broady. Competitor brands, however, will not be invited. "Our goal is to have these areas really celebrate these brands and provide a window into them that is pure," he continued.

Though there's no detailed timeline for when subsequent sites will launch, a Yahoo spokesperson told ClickZ News the company aims to develop 100 sites in the next year, all of them spotlighting "key entertainment brands" or "uber brands." Think popular and cult television and film hits or TV channels appealing to specific affinity groups.

Broady reportedly told the audience at a digital media conference earlier this week Yahoo hopes to attract 13- to 34-year-olds through the program. He added future plans include opening the initiative to include other "passion brands" outside the entertainment arena.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!*
*Early Bird Rates expire April 17.


Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.



Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?


    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora,, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...