Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MySpace Still Pushing for Big Brand Ad Dollars Site is pressing ahead with a suite of innovative ad placements

Despite actively searching for a buyer, MySpace has a message for the online ad market: It's still open for business.

“We still have a sizable audience that is enormously valuable in the market [where] we still reach 40 million unique users—especially for anyone who wants to reach Generation Y with content,” said MySpace’s chief revenue officer Nada Stirratt. “We don’t care who owns us; we still have the biggest audience for this demo.”

In fact, the News Corp.-owned social entertainment site—which has seen its stock fall sharply as Facebook’s has risen over the past several years—is pressing ahead with a suite of innovative ad placements. The site has looked to reinvent itself starting with an entertainment-focused design last fall and is now going after brand dollars by rolling out a trio of impactive ad placements. It's also creating a more robust platform for brand pages.

“A lot of Web sites say they offer ‘roadblock’ ad opportunism, which really means two ads on one page,” said Stirratt. “We wanted to create a true site-wide roadblock.”

As a result, MySpace has started offering a new ad treatment, which allows brands to buy every ad a user sees on a MySpace page as they scroll down. That's four to six ads in total. The sequence of those ads can be changed based on an individual user’s response.

Additionally, MySpace has begun selling a push-down video ad, which expands to merge with two other ads on a page to form one large, nearly half-page ad unit that covers both the horizontal and vertical portions of a user’s screen.

Lastly, the site has introduced a pre-roll video treatment, which has e-commerce and social sharing functionality built in.

Besides ad placements, MySpace is overhauling its brand pages using a new patented technology platform called Foundry. According to Stirratt, MySpace took down nearly all of its brand communities and is in the process of replacing them with Foundry. Stirratt claims advertisers can put together a video-rich MySpace page in minutes—a process that in the past could have taken 30 hours.

MySpace recently tested the Foundry platform with HP, using video content that features music artist Antwan "Big Boi" Patton of Outkast. HP saw its collection of MySpace friends soar from 132 to 1.4 million.

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