SF Interactive Debuts New Rich Media Ad

Interactive agency SF Interactive announced on Monday the availability of a productized version of its Ad3, or Ad Cube, platform, which features rich media in a large ad format conforming to industry size standards.

The ad works like a Web site embedded in a page, allowing a user to mouse over it to gain access to a variety of multimedia content without leaving the site. An Ad3 unit can have any number of pages within the micro-site. SF Interactive said Cisco, VeriSign and Quantum signed deals to use Ad3, and the company is currently in talks with publishers.

The Ad3, developed with ad-tracking capabilities by Blue Streak, is a box ad that can feature, audio, video, 3-D animation, streaming media and text-based messaging, allowing advertisers a prime branding vehicle, the company said. The ad unit measures 300 x 250 pixels, along the lines of the recently released ad-size guidelines of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. SF Interactive also offers it in or 336 x 250 pixels, and can make it any size a publisher would like.

While the Flash-compatible ad unit is clearly targeted to broadband users, Ad3 will load on a dialup user’s Web page, thanks to it only loading content once a user interacts. Only the shell, which measures just 25 kilobytes, resides on the publisher’s site. The agency recommends a 10-megabyte limit on streaming content.

The Bluestreak ad-tracking system allows advertisers to collect leads, gauge visitor interaction, and calculate return on investment.

Rich media has continued to make inroads into the Internet advertising industry, promising marketers a better branding vehicle — and higher rates for publishers. In its fourth-quarter ad-serving report, DoubleClick said that rich media ads accounted for 25 percent of the ads it served. The company expects that trend to continue, with rich media growing another 10 percent in the first quarter of 2003.

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