IAR Bits and Bytes

IBM Kicks Off 3-D Viewpoint Campaign

IBM’s software group rolled out a new phase of its “Can you see it?” ad blitz for on-demand computing, using Viewpoint technology to bring ads interactivity.

The new ads, designed by Oglivy Interactive, began appearing this week on a variety to technology publishers, including sites in the IDG and Ziff Davis families. They use Viewpoint’s rich media technology to bring the campaign’s “Can you see it?” theme home to Web visitors.

“We wanted to see what we could do to heighten the interactivity and make it more interesting,” said Ann Rubin, director of integrated marketing communications in IBM’s software group.

Rubin said the new phase could last the rest of the year, depending on the feedback IBM receives from the ads. This push will build on the first phase, which featured Flash ads.

Rubin said a campaign run by IBM’s server group earlier this year using Viewpoint caught her eye. Ogilvy then used the 3-D technology, traditionally a favorite of car and entertainment companies, to create four separate banner executions. In one banner for IBM’s Lotus software, a bowler can come off the screen and knock down pins. The executions are all user-initiated, which is meant to cut down on their intrusiveness.

“It’s something different,” Rubin said. “It makes us stand out.”

Silverpop: Manual Labor Solves Challenge-Response Problem

With challenge-response email filtering systems gaining popularity, email marketers can rest easy, according to email marketing firm Silverpop. The best response: Hire out cheap manual labor to handle challenges.

Silverpop said it would soon offer customers a service for handling challenges from email systems that “challenge” senders to prove they aren’t automated spamming machines. It’s a service that other email service providers are also offering. The firm says the low-tech response is justified by simple economics.

Thanks to low adoption rates, $300 is likely enough to cover the cost of paying a “responder” $7.50 an hour to handle the 60 challenges an hour a 250,000 recipient list might generate.

Challenge-response systems, such as those operated by Mailblocks and Earthlink, work by stopping mail from senders not in a user’s address book. The sender must then authenticate his identity by responding to a challenge, usually typing in a simple word or number, in order to differentiate real senders from spammers using computers to generate mail.

Silverpop estimates that about 10 percent of a mailing list would generate challenges.

Study: Few Marketers Track Paid Search ROI

Most marketers do not track whether their paid search programs lead to sales, according to feedback received by WebTrends and iProspect.

Out of more than 800 marketers who responded to WebTrends’ recent search-marketing presentation, only 16 percent said they tracked their search marketing programs through to conversion; only 11 percent did a detailed return on investment analysis. In fact, the survey found nearly a third of marketers did not measure their search programs at all.

Paid search firms have beefed up their analytics offerings to advertisers recently. Overture Services bought Keylime Software, and FindWhat rolled out an ROI calculator.

WebTrends and iProspect found that most marketers made do with the bare bones: 60 percent measured click-throughs or general traffic.

The survey did find great interest in search marketing, with over three quarters of respondents either using it or evaluating it.

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