Comet Systems Launches “Cometized Banners”

Comet Systems, developers of the Comet Cursor, unveiled the Cometized Banner, a new product for online advertising that automatically serves branded cursors in conjunction with banner advertisements.

The company also announced a strategic partnership with ad network 24/7 Media Inc. aimed at increasing banner ad click-through via Cometized Banners.

The Cometized Banner packages a traditional banner ad with a branded cursor through a proprietary process.

The Cometized Banners can be served across the 24/7 Network in the same manner as a traditional banner advertisements, and if the surfer’s browser is Comet Cursor-enabled, they will see a branded cursor matching the advertising banner wherever they surf on the page.

If the Web surfer’s browser is not Comet Cursor-enabled, they will continue to surf with a traditional “arrow” cursor. The Comet Cursor has been installed by 13 million Web surfers, reaching approximately 20 percent of all online users, according to the company.

Several Cursor Ad tests have shown that adding a branded cursor to an online banner caused click-throughs to rise from 50 percent to 300 percent within the Comet-enabled population, the company said.

Under the terms of the partnership, 24/7 Media will work towards integrating the Cometized Banner into the majority of its banner campaigns, and will also integrate Cursor Ads into tonline sponsorships.

Comet Systems will charge 24/7 Media an unspecified flat price per Cometized Banner, regardless of the number of banner impressions served.

“We’ve been following the steady growth of the Comet Cursor and are impressed with the technology’s ability to boost the performance of banner campaigns,” said Joe Apprendi, senior vice president of strategic sales at 24/7 Media.

“The product has been proven to deliver a lift in two important ‘return on investment’ metrics — click-rate and brand impact.”

Comet Systems said its technology is now used on more than 55,000 Web sites; licensees include Warner Bros. Online, AT&T WorldNet, Comedy Central, Mattel, and Universal Studios Online.

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