DoubleClick Beefs Up Network Rich Media Offerings

DoubleClick is adding still more rich media capabilities, this time making it easier to run out-of-banner rich media campaigns across its media network.

Last month, the company rolled out enhancements to its DART ad serving ASP that made it easier for site ad traffickers to set up campaigns using rich media creatives. Now, the New York-based online marketing giant said changes to its HTML tagging system adds support for advanced creative on the more than 1,700 sites in its network.

“It allows us to extend the audience for rich media and advanced creative sponsorship opportunities and combine it with contextual and demographic targeting throughout the DoubleClick Media network,” said Jeffrey Silverman, vice president of DoubleClick’s U.S. Media division.

Once publishers add a new JavaScript tag to their network inventory, their pages will be able to serve rich media interstitials, Superstitials, DHTML and what DoubleClick terms “shaped pop-ups” — a new pop-up ad execution with a custom shape.

Developed by the company’s in-house interactive agency, DoubleClick Studios, the shaped pop-up is a variation on existing DHTML ad technology, capable of being designed in a range of shapes while still being tagged, trafficked and delivered much like standard banners. The company said the format was already being used by advertisers including Microsoft and DeutscheTelekom in Germany, and with an undisclosed Grey Direct client on ComedyCentral.com in the U.S.

Like its earlier upgrades to DART, the changes are aimed at making it easier for DoubleClick’s media network to offer rich media units — which are believed to be better at branding than the standard banner — and thereby woo larger brand advertisers.

At the same time, the tagging upgrade effectively puts DoubleClick’s rich media reach in the same neighborhood as a portal like Yahoo. Previously, rich media ads had to be hard-coded into sites — which didn’t present a problem for portals, which could deliver millions of impressions off a single, hand-coded change on its homepage.

For networks like DoubleClick, however, thousands of niche sites would have to be recoded — making a network rich media ad buy a nightmare to implement. Now, however, the company’s network can deliver targeted rich media ad campaigns with relative ease.

“We believe that the flexibility and opportunity that this technology will provide our advertising and agency customers will significantly enhance the effectiveness of their online media campaigns,” Silverman said.

The efforts come as a rival, 24/7 Real Media, is offering special discounts to lure DART ad serving advertisers away. The firm, which was formed last month out of the merger of Real Media and 24/7 Media, is looking to topple DoubleClick’s DART as the ASP-based ad serving leader, though its Connect offering is less than a week old. 24/7 Real Media said it would offer two free months of Connect service to new customers through Dec. 31.

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