EyeWonder Wants You to Learn a New Language

eyewonderlogo.gifYou may have seen an announcement from EyeWonder out on the wires earlier this week. When we here in the newsroom at ClickZ saw it, our response was a universal “huh?”

It said EyeWonder has “unveiled a new category for the advertising industry, ‘Interactive Digital Advertising.’ The new category was created to address the challenges today’s leading interactive agencies face in clearly defining and communicating rich media.”

Interactive Digital Advertising? Yeah, it’s been around for quite some time now. It’s called rich media.

Right?

So, why would EyeWonder, a longtime player in the rich media ad space, want to float this new moniker? I had a long talk with CEO John Vincent this afternoon. He explained the reasoning behind the decision, and overall said a lot of really interesting stuff. Alas, my computer decided it didn’t feel like saving my notes from our conversation. So, I’ll do my best to boil our talk down to its essence.

Essentially, since EyeWonder has become more and more involved in exploring new ways to serve advertisers on emerging platforms outside the Web, it’s run into some language barriers. It seems people developing campaigns for mobile or iTV equate rich media with the Web. They think of video-enabled display ad units.

While the term “rich media” really encompasses a lot more than that, many working on these emerging platforms don’t see it that way. Mention “rich media” when discussing campaign possibilities and their heads start to spin, or their faces curl up in confusion, or something like that. (OK, Vincent didn’t actually describe it like that, but I’m using creative license here.)

Also, according to Vincent, the fact that “rich media” encompasses just about any multimedia experience requiring relatively large files is part of the problem. It’s not specific enough either.

Because campaign development is becoming less silo-ed in terms of agency processes — the mobile folks need to work with the Web folks, etc. — it helps if they speak the same tongue.

Hence, the new term. Whether it actually makes it into the industry lexicon is another thing….

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