Vianet Nabs Ogilvy Deal

Vianet Technologies Monday signed a deal with Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, giving the firm needed traction for its rich media ad solution.

New York-based Vianet is a network infrastructure provider, specializing in network access and special video delivery technology — called Lightning Strike — that enables both high- and low-bandwidth users to receive what it says is high-quality streaming video.

Now, through a strategic alliance with the WPP Group ad agency — and specifically, its OgilvyOne direct marketing and OgilvyInteractive units — Vianet will develop new email and interactive applications using rich media.

“This is a pivotal partnership for Vianet in our continuing strategy to deploy our visual media products into the broad mainstream markets,” said Vianet president and chief executive Peter Leighton. “Joining forces with one of the world’s largest advertising agencies and its award-winning interactive group puts our company at the forefront of an enormous emerging market: digital media advertising.”

Spokespeople from the agency said the agreement is an indicator of its commitment to bringing new technology and ad applications to clients.

“We are dedicated to investing in the development of new technology tools that add to the specialized offerings we can provide to our clients as they look to us for expertise in building their brands across multiple media channels,” said OgilvyOne North America president Carla Hendra.

Aside from embedding rich media into email messages, Ogilvy didn’t specify exactly what its plans were with Vianet’s technology, although it did say that it would integrate the technology into “other developments we have underway,” according to OgilvyInteractive president Jeannette McClennan.

“We have built a dedicated applications lab to allow us to develop new marketing applications in partnership with new technology innovators like Vianet,” McClennan said.

“One of the biggest problems today with advertising on the Internet is the ease with which consumers can click away from ads,” McClennan said. “By applying the technology Vianet offers … we can create new media models that bring content … directly to the consumer in a way that is connected to the brands we are supporting.”

In addition to providing Ogilvy with a rich media platform, the deal also bodes well for Vianet, which is working to gain traction for its solution in the online advertising space. As one of the world’s largest and well-known agency groups, WPP’s Ogilvy has some large clients, including Kodak, American Express and Merck.

“This powerful relationship aligns Vianet with the world’s leading agencies in the traditional, direct and new media space,” said Fran Sanda, the firm’s vice president. “The opportunities for this partnership and its impact on Vianet are tremendous, giving us entree to marketers around the globe who are seeking new communication vehicles that have proven results with consumers. We are thrilled to be establishing a new line of business for our technology.”

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