CNN Sites To Use Bluestreak, EyeWonder

Rich media ad firm Bluestreak’s close ties with AOL Time Warner are paying off for the company; it said Wednesday that its ads would be supported on CNN’s Web sites.

CNN, a unit of AOL Time Warner, said its sites CNN.com, CNNfn.com and CNNSI.com will also support another streaming video technology — EYERIS, the product of Atlanta-based Eyewonder, which earlier this week announced a deal in which its ads would be supported by Web ad network Real Media.

The news — which comes on the heels of a $3 million investment in Rhode Island-based Bluestreak by AOL — marks one of the first times that a major site said it plans to use streaming video ads in normal rotation.

The companies did not disclose the terms of either agreement.

While something of this nature had been expected following the AOL investment, the news could prove a powerful endorsement of Bluestreak’s StreakingMedia and Eyewonder’s technologies to CNN’s roster of online advertisers.

Both streaming media platforms are Java-based and do not require the use of plug-ins, unlike Macromedia Flash or RealNetworks’ streaming technology. And both companies position their products as a way to incorporate existing TV or video creative for the Web.

Already, several advertisers — including Volvo and WorldCom — have agreed to run streaming banner campaigns during a trial period from March 1 to April 15.

CNN said the move would enable it offer advertisers on its sites “all of the video and audio possibilities that they are accustomed to when buying TV spots on the news networks”.

“We are always looking for ways to make a CNN advertiser’s online ad campaign more effective,” said Charles Theiss, senior vice president of sales and operations for CNN Interactive. “This new technology allows our clients to create TV-quality banner advertisements via streaming video and audio, resulting in better integration of their online and on-air creative, which will ultimately generate stronger brand impressions and increased click-through rates.”

In other Bluestreak news Wednesday, Philadelphia-based interactive agency i-Frontier said it will use StreakingMedia in a campaign for Universal Studios Home Video’s upcoming “Meet The Parents” DVD/video release. A thirty-second clip will run in banner ads on undisclosed sites.

Universal Studios Home Video is a division of Universal Pictures, which recently used Bluestreak’s rich media banner ads to publicize the release of “Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps”.

i-Frontier said it sought to build a campaign for “Meet The Parents” using a variety of advanced technologies.

“The technology fit right into our campaign, where our goal was to build buzz around the VHS and DVD release of ‘Meet the Parents’ by using cutting-edge technologies and unique ad formats, among other things,” said Jeremy Lockhorn, director of media technology at i-Frontier.

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