Tribal Offers Roadblock Alternative

Ad network Tribal Fusion’s new premium unit, the Tandem Ad, is a counterpart to a roadblock and is sold across a large segment of its network. The offering emulates the popular roadblock units available on marquee sites.

The unit is a series of synchronized ads akin to a roadblock or a “surround session,” originally created by The New York Times. Tandem units include IAB standard leader board, skyscraper and rectangle units. The second component is the ability to purchase across a large segment of Tribal’s network of roughly 1,000 sites.

“You haven’t been able to do that across all sites at once,” said Alistair Goodman, VP of strategic marketing at Exponential, Tribal’s recently-created parent company. “We can run a campaign across hundreds of sites on our network and give advertisers a boost in the amount of impact.”

The Tandem Ad was created when a Tribal client approached with the request. “Agency.com came to us with a set of objectives for their campaign and a number of ideas,” said Goodman. “As we do with all our agency clients, we work specifically to meet the requirements of their campaign.”

Tribal Fusion reaches a reported 107 million U.S. users each month across its network, a figure it derives from comScore Networks.

While the Agency.com trial execution was successful, other ad networks are more skeptical of the practice.

“It’s a new concept, and the idea of it is untested, it’s unproven, and with that it leaves a lot of guesswork in the equation of what will work and what won’t,” Ari Bluman, SVP of U.S. Sales and Operations at competitor 24/7 Real Media, told ClickZ News.

24/7 works with clients to buy across specific content, sites and verticals through behavioral targeting, which Tribal Fusion also offers.

Goodman sees the opportunity as a straightforward offering for its clients, but one with potential for any advertiser. “It’s a unique opportunity for an advertiser to get great share of voice across hundreds of sites, and clients we work with find that exciting,” he said.

Publishers, in turn, are also pleased, and benefit from the increased revenue share the premium unit provides.

The Tandem Ad unit is the first of several expected offerings from the Tribal family. The company recently founded Exponential to serve as a parent company and to support plans beyond Tribal’s ad network.

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