Ad Firms Team for UK Interstitial Campaign

Unicast, DoubleClick, and Agency.com have joined forces for a British Airways campaign — the first to bring Unicast’s Superstitial format to the United Kingdom.

Doubleclick (DCLK), extending its US agreement with Unicast into the UK, so that its network can handle the interactive, rich-media interstitial ads. Agency.com (ACOM) created the campaign for British Airways.

The ad shows off the airline’s fully flat bed for business class and allows users to click through to learn more about British Airways’ “lounge in the sky” features. It will appear on Freeserve, FT Your Money, The Independent, World Travel Guide and Lords.

Unicast says the ad is already getting a click-through rate that’s 40 times that of the average banner ad campaign. The technology works by downloading graphics and other information while the user is idle, then loading on the screen once all of the elements are available locally.

Although it’s obvious that an interstitial advertising format offers the agency more opportunities for creativity, it remains to be seen whether this kind of ad will be accepted by Internet users. In order to avoid the repuation for slow loading that interstitials have garnered, Unicast has designed its format so that data loads while users are idle. British Airways certainly hopes the format catches on.

“British Airways has led the industry in leveraging the power of the Internet to advance our position as the premier provider of travel services,” said British Airways e-commerce marketing manager Daniel Read.

“Our approach to our Internet advertising strategies is no exception.”

Unicast was founded as a joint venture between the MacManus Group, parent company of D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, and BBN, now GTE Internetworking.

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