AOL Seeks New Ways to Integrate Brands with AIM

CLOUD.II.jpgAOL is attempting to innovate potential ad placements on its AIM application, according to an e-mail a sales rep sent this week to a major ad agency.

The leaked e-mail contains a mocked-up product demo of the product’s chat feature with a hypothetical T-Mobile “MyTouch” promo on the right-hand side. In the demo, a button in the window’s lower right-hand corner, labeled “aim cloud,” can be clicked to see messaging in a pop-up that’s shaped like a cloud.

Both the product demo (click to view) and the e-mail language suggest the advertiser will be able to appear in a content feed that includes social media chatter from outside sites, text messages, and music and video media. According to the e-mail, users can click those elements to be directed to the content source.

The pitch underscores AOL’s main chore going forward — to leave no stone unturned when it comes to building online revenues as the market for dial-up subscriptions continues to fade. It joins other initiatives such as AOL’s nascent content management platform,, which will use search and ad pricing data to assign stories to hundreds or thousands of outside contributors.

The e-mail states AOL will bring the offering to market in three weeks. But AOL spokesperson Kiersten Hollars said no announcement is forthcoming. She characterized the mock-up as part of a pitch for the company’s AIM Expressions offering, which lets users personalize the AIM product with custom graphics. She said AOL is not planning changes to the app’s interface.

“That’s a treatment we could sell,” she said. “It just so happens that, at this point, no one has purchased it yet… I think it is a new approach to ‘AIM Expressions’ and branding but certainly not part of a product launch or [new] interface in the pipeline as it pertains to AIM.”

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