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Online Advertising Articles
(February 2002)



UGO's New Ad Units, Served with Bikini Babes (internet.com, February 28th)
UGO Networks, who were leaders in sales representation for young male-oriented sites a few years back - before being bruised by the ad slowdown, have debuted a new aggressive ad format that could be seen as a hybrid between popups and new interactive rectangles recently approved as standards by the IAB. The format, in effect, takes users directly to the advertiser's site without them having to leave UGO. This takes place through the embedding of an entire site within a huge space near the bottom of select regions on the host site. The space is reportedly being sold on a premium CPM basis, but the concept will likely appeal to none but the most desperate of publishers due to their extremely aggressive nature.

Sony Pictures, adiamondisforever.com Tap Entertainment to Hawk Wares (internet.com, February 27th)
The film studio and the Diamond Trading Company take similar approaches in new campaigns to reach young males through online entertainment outlets. Each of the efforts represents a landmark for its respective brand, and breathes new life into the recently staid online entertainment market.

Newspapers, Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid. (australia.internet.com, February 26th)
Just as the direct-marketing based pay-per-click search engines and online auction marketplaces have proven their ability to gel with both consumers and the technology on which the net is based, classified ads have a big future online. Their offline counterparts have, however, grown to account for almost half of the average newspaper's revenue in recent years, which suggests that print publishers will oppose such developments until their own online classified services are ready to launch. Another detractor from the format, as brought to light through a study performed by carsales.com.au, lies squarely in the hands of advertisers, whose usage of the medium has in many cases been unenthusiastic with many failing to keep their listings up-to-date or neglecting the duty of responding to customer inquiries gathered through such ads.

Internet Radio Advertising: More Sizzle Than Sound (eMarketer, February 26th)
The total time spent listening to internet radio has skyrocketed by 300% over the past year, so you'd think that would be good news for internet radio. David Hallerman listens to the pulse of the online radio ad market to survey how well businesses are turning traffic into dollars.

Streaming Media Subs, Ads Could Take Off (internet.com, February 26th)
A joint study released Tuesday by Arbitron Inc. and Edison Media Research paints a rosy picture of the streaming audio space by finding that millions of Americans are likely willing to pay a small fee for access to their favorite online audio stream. On the advertising front, the survey also revealed that far more users find banner ads annoying than streaming audio or video ads.

Response Metrics: How to Crunch the Numbers (ClickZ, February 26th)
How is your email campaign measuring up? Here are industry standard statistics - and a word or two about how to apply them to your campaign and your business. Remember: It's not one-size-fits-all.

As Users Get Smarter, Marketers Must Keep Up (ClickZ, February 26th)
The internet hasn't changed much since 1996, but its users have. Now content with viewing the web as more of a tool than a novelty, users are less likely to surf blindly or depend on search engines for navigating the wasteland. Instead, they opt to move directly to those sites with which they are familiar, furthering the importance of brand establishment in this crowded marketplace.

Making Your Company a Household Name (InternetDay, February 26th)
This article gives a brief insight into the value of effective brandingas a tool to build recognition, trust and interest in one's business. Unfortunately, the site that the author has chosen to use as a prime example of a well-branded property is one owned by the author that few would ever have heard of. This aside, many of the issues addressed within the article are of value, and so it remains a worthwhile primer for those not familiar with branding basics.

FCB's Raj Muses on Mobile Advertising (eMarketer, February 26th)
Zain Raj, EVP/chief growth officer with Foote, Cone & Belding, has earned respect as a prince of interactive marketing. eMarketer's David Berkowitz finds out from Raj what marketers need to know about mobile advertising.

Publishers, Agencies Clash Over Web Billings (internet.com, February 26th)
With ad dollars still thinning, a number of online media companies have begun approaching advertisers directly - as opposed to working through their agency - and have additionally been offering such advertisers the types of creative services traditionally supported by agencies. This development, researcher Jupiter suggests, could hurt publishers in the long-term by alienating those agencies that are expected to pick up this slack in coming years.

DoubleClick Beefs Up DARTmail (internet.com, February 25th)
Online ad technology and network player DoubleClick is rolling out an enhanced version of its DARTmail e-mail ASP, designed to help clients better leverage their consumer data. New elements of the DARTmail 3.5 upgrade center on tools that provide advertisers and publishers more advanced customer segmentation tools, translating into better-targeted (and ideally, more effective) mailings.

Overture Readies German-Language Launch (internet.com, February 22nd)
One of Google's great strengths has always been its language translation functions. Another brought to light through the debut of its AdWords Select pay-for-placement search advertising program is the ability for advertisers to reach consumers from select georgraphical regions. Well, not to be outdone, PPC search rival Overture has made an aggressive bid to expand its reach into foreign markets with the upcoming launch of a German-language service. This will be accompanied by the opening of an office based in Munich that will seek to grab to attention of the region's many brand-name advertisers. The German search service will be boosted initially through a partnership with T-Online, a major German-language portal.

Streetwise Mobile Marketing (ClickZ, February 22nd)
Pamela Parker here presents case studies from some of the success stories highlighted during her stint moderating a discussion at the recent Internet World Wireless show. These efforts - most of which took place in early-adopting nations throughout Europe and Asia - demonstrate that not only are people willing to accept mobile marketing messages, but they're willing to act upon mobile marketing initiatives. Of course, as with most new technologies, the acceptance rates may be skewed somewhat in the medium's early days, as both novelty and resistance factors come into play, but these studies do present some solid ideas for how best to integrate wireless into one's marketing plan.

ValueClick Promises Mediaplex Benefits (internet.com, February 21st)
Pay-for-performance ad stalwart ValueClick posted yet another loss in its most recent quarterly report, though the results were in-line with expectations. On the upside, the group proclaimed that it would soon realise the synergies that have come from its acquisition of ad technology company Mediaplex, with that division not only contributing to cost savings and value increases across ValueClick's product line, but nearing profitability itself.

HTML Always Outperforms Text? Don't Stake Your Career On It (ClickZ, February 21st)
When CareerJournal's campaign was emailed to similar audiences in text, HTML, and Flash, guess which version delivered the highest response? The result may surprise rich-media afficionados.

AT&T Wireless' mLife Campaign Enters Phase Two (internet.com, February 21st)
Following up on the campaign's mysterious television ads, a rich media ad push is designed to continue the pitch to Web users.

Mind-Share Over Matter: Interstitials, Pop-Ups and Pop-Unders (eMarketer, February 20th)
Interstitials only comprised 3% of US e-ad revenues for the first three quarters of 2001, yet they remain a focal point of industry debates. Analyst David Hallerman musters the stats and shares his two cents in this eMarketer report.

Google Launches AdWords Select (SearchDay, February 20th)
Muscling in on the pay-per-click search market with heavyweight determination, Google has expanded its existing AdWords text link sponsorship program to include performance-based buys that give the advertiser not only a greater ability to plan and measure the effectiveness of a buy, but control over many aspects of the ad's placement in relation to its competition. Where this particular model differs from the standard fare of PPC placement is that listings are not strictly aligned according to the bid value, but also affected by their response rate, so that the most popular listings are bumped above those that garner fewer click-throughs. Though late to enter this particular market, Google's strong brand, expansive reach and the relative success of its original CPM-based AdWords program promises to give the company a solid shot of rocking Overture's tree this year. For more on this, and other elements that set Google's new program apart from the similar offering pitched by its competition may be found in this Internet.com article.

Jupiter Rolls Out Camnpaign Measurement Service (internet.com, February 20th)
Fresh off the termination of its proposed buyout by NetRatings, Jupiter Media Metrix looks to make a name as third-party impression-tracker.

Establishing an Emotional Connection (ClickZ, February 20th)
Can a Web ad make you laugh or make you cry? After being affected deeply by a new online ad, ClickZ' Jeremy Lockhorn believes that technology has developed far enough that it's possible for Internet advertising to evoke emotion effectively.

CMGI's Wetherell Bows Out (internet.com, February 20th)
David Wetherell, the controversial leader of Internet investor CMGI, which went from being a high-flying tech leader to flirting with the possibility of a Nasdaq delisting in just the span of a few years, is stepping down as CEO on March 31. CMGI is the parent company of online marketing plays YesMail and Engage, amongst other properties.

Performance Anxieties - Weighing Up CPM vs CPC (australia.internet.com, February 19th)
Although this article does little to specifically address the issue present in its title, it does present a thorough overview of how the online media buying process has developed of late, to the point at which buyers now demand similar metrics and targeting principles to those established in offline channels. Of course, being that the article is written for australia.internet.com, and is in the form of an interview taken with Aussie media buyer David Holmes, it does have an Australian spin, but its central themes are undoubtedly indicative of a universal phenomenon that is signalling the maturation of online media.

Unleashing Your Own Viral Marketing Campaign (InternetDay, February 19th)
One of the e-marketing topics least written about is viral marketing, yet it is one of the most successful such methods used today. This feature examines a few of the most popular avenues through which this (somewhat controversial) growth technique may be implemented, while suggesting how these can be employed on a limited budget.

In Your Mind, Not In Your Face (ClickZ, February 15th)
Think Web ads are intrusive? They are. And while the various debates and tests surrounding the more aggressive formats are unlikely to abate any time soon, ClickZ contributor Rebecca Lieb offers an insight comparing these ads to intrusive counterparts found in other media - and in real life - to conclude that if popups are the worst format we have to endure online in exchange for access to quality free content, things comparitively aren't bad at all.

Survey: Companies Struggle with Online Branding (internet.com, February 15th)
While a lack of established standards and studies into accountability of online advertising are reported to be amongst the leading reasons being for the failure of the online medium to snare as large a piece of the media pie as what their substantial usage would suggest, a survey conducted by the Conference Board has found that internal company disputes also contribute largely to delaying major brands' efforts to move online.

Interaction, Interaction Everywhere! (eMarketer, February 15th)
As iTV ads begin interacting with viewers, broadcast advertising will morph into relationship marketing. This article looks at one of the solutions being touted presently, while highlighting some of its theoretical strengths and weaknesses.

Lipton Brisk Puppets Take Campaign to the Web (internet.com, February 15th)
In a follow-up to the brand's Super Bowl spot, a sizable offline campaign - complete with an elaborate mock-documentary - will detail the former spokepuppets' fight for their rights.

In Wake of Security Flap, MS Launches .NET Ads (internet.com, February 15th)
Microsoft Corp. is making its pitch to enterprise customers for its new .NET Web services platform with a new, $200 million ad campaign that comes, ironically, just days after the discovery of a major security hole in the software giant's newest offering.

DoubleClick Snags Bertelsmann License (internet.com, February 14th)
Online ad company DoubleClick Inc. has won a three-year contract to serve ads and e-mail products across a universe of properties under the roof of German media giant Bertelsmann. The contract includes the delivery of ads across the many heavily-trafficked destinations managed by Random House and BMG, and incorporates a full suite of DoubleClick products, including DART for Publishers, AdServer and DARTmail.

Match.com Targets Men, Plans Ad Spending Boost (internet.com, February 14th)
The popular online dating site is running a major, one-day-only campaign on MarketWatch in a bid to reach a predominently male audience. The move that is said to be prelude to a stepped-up year of advertising for the firm.

That's Advertainment! (ClickZ, February 13th)
Inspired by the mass captivation triggered by savvy marketers each Superbowl Sunday, Rob Graham looks at how interactive ad creatives could tap into a similar mindset by tempting net users with interaction that promises to be rewarding.

Palm Goes with Online-Only Launch for New PDA (internet.com, February 13th)
Personal digital assistant manufacturer Palm, Inc. turned exclusively to the Web to push its newest product, relying on online direct marketing and targeted media buys to drive the launch of its i705. While the company has proven itself receptive to online buys in the past, this marks a departure for the company, whose previous product launches have been driven by stylish TV, print and billboard placements.

Dying Scent of E-Mail Ad Campaign (Wired News, February 13th)
Huge fashion brand Calvin Klein have long been defined by their edgy print and TV campaigns. As this article highlights, though, the company's online endeavours have been equally as impressive, with one of its email campaigns finding a life of its own, while succeeding in attracting interest and intimate interaction for three solid years.

Essential Guide to Pay-Per-Click Advertising (InternetDay, February 13th)
Michael Low here discusses the ins and outs of basic pay-per-click search engine marketing.

When B2B Gets Tough, Rich Media Gets Going (TurboAds, February 13th)
POPstick's recent ads for Microsoft events have done more than just introduce a better breed of performance metrics into the marketing mix. They've created a new breed of campaign that gathers ultra-specific info on customer behavior. But is there such a thing as campaign over-management?

Avesair Snaps Up WindWire (internet.com, February 12th)
More news on the acquisitions front comes via the announcement that mobile marketing technology firm Avesair is buying up rival ad network and server WindWire, in a move that consolidates two competitors in the fledgling wireless advertising space. Avesair has its roots in CMGI's Engage, whose media division was shuttered amidst growing losses last year, and was involved primarily in content delivery for wireless carriers, while WindWire operates a platform that more directly facilitates the delivery and management of mobile (predominently WAP) ads on behalf of publishers in the space.

iVillage to Buy Promotions.com (internet.com, February 12th)
In a bid to expand its range of online and offline marketing tools, services and personnel, the company behind the Web's leading women-centric content network has issued an all-stock offer to acquire Promotions.com. Promotions.com is traded over-the-counter after being delisted from the Nasdaq, and the deal offers shareholders a 25% premium over the rate at which the stock was trading at the time this announcement was made. The deal is valued at some $9.5 million in total, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of cash Promotions.com has in the bank, adding further attraction to the deal. This transaction follows similar moves made by content plays Alloy.com and eUniverse in taking advantage of depressed stock prices to significantly build their sales and marketing troops through acquisitions.

Are You Maximizing Your Pay-Per-Click Returns? (internet.com, February 11th)
Pay-for-performance search engines have emerged as a direct marketer's dream online, and have increasingly become an essential component of any online marketing plan, largely as a result of the adoption of their databases by all of the Web's leading search portals. What is at question is not the effectiveness of such avenues in general, but the effectiveness of their bid management systems. Many - arguably for obvious reasons - do not offer features that assist marketers in minimizing their bid rates while maintaining comparable placement within the results on a given search term, though as this article notes, there are inexpensive third-party tools available that do just this - producing very effective cost savings to larger buyers.

Interactive Commercials from the Olympics (NY Times, February 11th)
Despite the hoopla, and the relatively enthusiastic uptake of set-top boxes, personal recording devices and digital TVs within the United States, interactive TV has yet to make a killer splash. Nevertheless, the first large-scale interactive ad rolled out to some six million households during this year's Superbowl in an ad promoting TD Waterhouse; proving not only that the technology is ready, but that it will be embraced by more than impulse-centric advertisers such as pizza parlours and video rental outlets. The tech play behind the platform on which this particular creative ran, Wink, expects to have its software and services in as many as 10 million households by the end of this year.

Digital Impact Moves Into ASP Space (internet.com, February 11th)
Taking the wraps off its new hosted email marketing solution, Digital Impact has both broadened its offerings, and expanded its competition against established rivals such as DoubleClick and CMGI-owned YesMail.

What's Critical in Cross Media? Online. (ClickZ, February 8th)
In this article, ClickZ managing editor Pamela Parker reviews a high-profile case study that sought to analyze the effectiveness of the online component of a cross-media mix in a branding campaign. Statistical modeling of the 7 week study (in which the weight of each medium were toggled to find the best combination) found, much to online publishers' benefit, that common branding metrics - most notably purchasing intent - increased most dramatically when online payed a large part in the mix. As an added bonus, comparable reach could be achieved online at far lower rates than those commanded by traditional media mainstays.

Benchmark Your CPA (ClickZ, February 8th)
As CPM deals increasingly give way to lead and sale-driven CPA transactions, publishers are frequently assuming all or most of the risk upon accepting an untested campaign. In this article, ClickZ contributor Declan Dunn proposes some effective and rapid testing techniques that may be employed by marketers prior to launching their CPA campaign, with the hope that such testing would improve the attractiveness of said offer in the marketplace.

NextCard Trading Declined (internet.com, February 8th)
America has banks and other financial institutions coming out its wazoo, and the failure of smaller players in the banking scene has been a regular occurrence of late. Nevertheless, the folding of the world's first and largest online-only bank is bound to cause ripples throughout every corner of the online advertising and affiliate marketing industry. Why is this? Well, NextBank (which was closed Friday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after the board found the bank was "operating in an unsafe and unsound manner.") is owned and operated by NextCard, a publicly-traded firm whose consumer-oriented business is centered around the distribution of co-branded Visa cards through online channels. Its online-only business model has led to the NextCard consistently rating as one of the most prolific online media buyers. With the news of NextBank closing, trading in NextCard shares has been halted by the Nasdaq, and NextCard immediately issued a notice to its thousands of affiliates and ad brokers stating that their long-running affiliate programs had been shuttered effective immediately. Some discussion about this can be found here.

NYTD Points to 'Surround Session' Benefits (internet.com, February 7th)
The New York Times Digitial's decision to start offering 'surround session' ad buys in November of last year kick started a somewhat overdue effort from other majors, such as the Online Publisher's Association and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, to redefine how impressions are measured and tracked. The format allows for a single advertiser to 'follow' a user in her navigation through a site, so that ads from one brand are shown repeatedly, without competition, and are counted as one session for the purposes of measurement. Well, after three months of testing, the group who started the sponsorship-style movement has revealed their initial results with the surround format, and the news is promising. That is, research conducted by Dynamic Logic found that advertisers testing the format - which include American Airlines and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals - saw sizable increases in brand awareness, favorability, and purchase intent. Brand awareness was seen to increase 11 percent over the test period, which is three times greater than the rise experienced by those who weren't exposed to the online campaign. During the same period, the surround sessions generated a staggering 61% message association (4 times higher than standard response), and the format is repoerted to have tripled the advertisers' brand favorability while quadrupling purchasing intent.

24/7 Media Slaps ValueClick with Suit (internet.com, February 7th)
Newly merged ad network and technology entity 24/7 Real Media on Wednesday filed a patent infringement suit against rival ValueClick in a continuation of the squabbles and legal struggles that have plagued the online ad scene during its seminal years. The suit alleges that ValueClick's ad delivery system infringes on the targeting and measurement-centric patent that 24/7 Real Media holds for its system. ValueClick subsidiary Mediaplex - acquired last year - is also named in the suit, and other major players in the space have been approached by 24/7 with licensing proposals. To discuss this with other web publishers and online ad reps, check out this Geek/Talk thread. View the patent in question here.

Web Ad Sellers Lobby for Increased Spending (internet.com, February 6th)
Quite clearly, looking at athe comparisons between media exposure times and ad spending according the medium, online advertising has long been given the short end of the stick in terms of budget designations. This is largely due to the 'newness' of the medium, with complementary studies highlighting that a lack of effective measurement standards, targeting and branding studies have led many buyers to avoid heavy investments in the medium. Nevertheless, those who are sold on the medium's ability to brand, and to drive direct responses, are again promoting its strengths - with backing from a variety of data-rich studies - so as to entice buyers to grant online components a greater slice of their media spending pie.

DoubleClick Rebrands Adgility (internet.com, February 6th)
With the launch of a rebranded Adgility automated media buying and campaign planning system - now named MediaVisor - the Web ad giant continues its quest to secure a position of leadership in the online media management process.

Standard Wisdom vs Reality: Online Ad Revenue (eMarketer, February 5th)
With so many analysts and market researchers convering the online ad market, discrepancies in methodologies and projections are bound to occur. Just how dramatic the differences are, though, leaves huge margins of error in a glance at the most basic of figures presented by such firms. For example, while Morgan Stanley has reported that online ad revenues fell 23% in 2001 as compared to 2000, IDC contrats this by claiming that revenues rose by some 37.7% in the same period. This report by eMarketer attempts to clarify some of the factors behind these variations, while shedding light on where the reality may in fact lay.

Start Your Own Ad Co-Op (InternetDay, February 5th)
One problem that small business owners have always faced is the high cost of marketing. Most, however don't realize that there is an effective way to reduce the cost of their advertising while - at the same time - both increasing its reach and establishing B2B relationships with possible future partners. This article describes in simple terms a possible scenario to kick-start one's first foray into co-operative advertising.

L90 Under SEC Investigation (internet.com, February 4th)
Just weeks after announcing its unusual merger with online content play eUniverse, ad network L90 and one of its board members have come under scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company is also being examined by the Nasdaq's listings investigations unit in what may or may not relate to the elements that attracted the SEC's regulatory interest. This follows the sudden resignation of the company's VP of Finance, and is expected - at the very least - to delay the union between L90 and suitor eUniverse.

Online Weather Service Debuts New Ad Model (internet.com, February 4th)
The company behind the popular Weatherbug online service has launched a new brand-based ad service in which consumers are presented with the opportunity to select which ads they'd like to see. In short, the program - known as Sponsor Select - asks that users who download the free Weatherbug tool choose from a list of advertisers during the required regstration process. The Weatherbug application downloaded by that user will then be 'BrandWrapped' in an interface which integrates the sponsor's advertising message and the weather content together. According to the company, about 50 advertisers have already signed on to trial the service.

10 Effective Ways to Boost Banner Click-Through (InternetDay, February 4th)
Banner advertising is one of the most widely used marketing media on the Internet. Though average banner click-response rates have dropped to less that one per cent of late, it is still possible to achieve solid click-through rates in the vicinities of three percent and above. This article proposes a checklist of elements and conditions to monitor in order to achieve this, if click-through response is a goal of your campaign. (Aside, the math noted in the last section of the article is off, giving the impression that a $20CPM buy which yields a 2% CTR equates to a direct visitor acquisiton cost of $1.00. This should obviously have been $0.50 instead, but the priciples remain valid nonetheless.)

Don't Fumble Your Corporate Communications (ClickZ, February 1st)
If you're not paying money to appear in the media, be prepared to invest time and effort even more wisely in developing and fostering the relationships necessary to make editorial exchanges as fruitful as possible.


 
 
 

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