Advertisers looking to target the teen audience have a new option to consider: Teen.com, an ad network formed by Alloy Media + Marketing. Alloy formed the network to bolster saleable inventory on its existing portfolio of sites.
Alloy’s range of teen-interest Web sites includes Alloy.com, editorial content on Delias, and CCS. Once the ad sales team began selling inventory, it made sense to form a network. “We were unable to meet current advertising demand with our current sites,” Alloy EVP Derek White told ClickZ News.
Through partnership deals with publishers including Habbo, Alloy was able to realize the value in numbers. The company sought to build what White called “the best of the best in the space” among teen-serving content sites. Partnerships evolved into a network for advertisers looking to reach the teen audience.
“Right now it’s a couple dozen sites, we’re not looking to get into the hundreds,” said White. Teen.com network sites include Alloy.com, Delias, gurl, CCS, Habbo, High School Club, Channelone.com, RockYou, Meez, Carrers & Colleges, FindTuition.com, CollegeClub.com, CollegeProwler, and Zwinky.
Naming publisher sites offers a degree of transparency not all ad networks show. “We wanted to distinguish ourselves from bigger ad networks of hundreds of sites,” White said. “We want to be a little bit more strategic about partner sites, to compliment one another.” Standard media buys can include a select number of Web sites, or run of network buys.
Beyond standard display inventory, Teen.com works with advertisers and publishers to build integrated advertising programs. One such recent program for Panasonic’s X7 headphones raised awareness by creating a personalized, virtual version of each teen. The program ran on Meez for Panasonic. Meez has also hosted viral promotions for movies including Hairspray, where users could customize their pages and add “action” dance sequences and enter contests.
A separate partnership geared at college audiences was formed with Blowtorch Entertainment. In the deal, Alloy will develop and execute media and promotional campaigns for feature-length films, professional-grade shorts, mobile offerings, and online social community and live events carried out by Blowtorch.
Other special advertising programs include sponsored rooms within the Habbo environment where players can interact with the brand. Habbo was Allloy’s first partner outside of the company’s own sites, and recently renewed its multi-million dollar partnership with Alloy for the third year in a row.
Alloy spun off the merchandising business including Delias, but retains ownership of the editorial content on its Web site.
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