Understanding Media Interactive Advertising
Before we dive into the core definitions and the various categories, let’s get the basics clear first.
What is Interactive Media?
Media essentially encompasses all communication and output tools that are used to store and deliver information to the masses, Such as print media and the press, photography, advertising, cinema, broadcasting (radio and television), and/or publishing to name a few.
Media is generally a one way stream of communication, where the method of communication could be taken as a broadcast of the message to the audience, the evolution of media has seen the need for better media communication intertwined with feedback, giving the rise to Interactive Media.
Thus Interactive media is a method of communication in which the output from the media comes from the input taken from the users i.e. it works with the user’s participation. The media still has the same purpose as before but the consumers input add the interaction and brings interesting features to the system for a better enjoyment. Basic examples of Interactive Media are video games and websites. Websites, especially social networking websites provide the interactive use of text and graphics to its users, who interact with each other in various ways such as chatting, playing online games, sharing posts that may include their thoughts and/or pictures and so forth.
Similarly advertising techniques needed to evolve as well. Users were facing Banner Blindness with the current formats of advertising and a better form of advertising was vital, one where the producer and consumer could interact through the advertisement giving higher Return on Investment for the advertiser as the interaction would leave a longer lasting impression on the consumer.
The inaugural issue of the Journal of Interactive Advertising, editors Li and Leckenby (2000) represented interactive advertising as the “paid and unpaid presentation and promotion of products, services and ideas by an identified sponsor through mediated means involving mutual action between consumers and producers.” This is most commonly performed through the internet; often through the use of an ad server that can deliver a variety of interactive advertising units.
This essentially gave birth to Rich Media Advertising! While text ads sell with words, and display ads sell with pictures, Rich Media ads elicit more ways to involve an audience with an ad. The ad can expand, float, peel down, etc. One can even access aggregated metrics on your audience’s behavior, including a number of expansions, Bounce Rate, multiple exits, and video completions. These metrics help plan for a better ROI.
Some examples for Rich Media to better understand the concept are
• An ad for a Hollywood movie that includes a streaming video sample of a scene from the movie
• A mouse cursor that is changed to an image on a particular Web site if the user requests it (for example, a cursor that changes to a tiny red question mark on a site like whatis.com)
• A standard-size banner ad that includes an inquiry form about ISDN installation, capturing the user’s filled-in personal information, and telling the user they will be contacted by a company representative – all simply by interacting with an ad on an online publisher’s Web page
Rich Media lets one create complex ads that can garner a strong user response. Using Flash or HTML5 technology, the ads can include multiple levels of content in one placement: videos, games, tweets from an ad, etc. If you have a simple objective to generate clicks or a more ambitious goal to create brand awareness, Rich Media is the format to go with.