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Online Advertising Articles
(June 2001)

Vipcast Alters the Interstitial Environment

Edited by Joshua Smith

06/12/2001 -- In an attempt to appease the slowing growth in online advertising revenues, Vipcast, Inc. has developed a new approach to improve viewer response and increase advertiser returns on investments. Following a model more closely related to television and radio advertisements, Cast Commercials utilize rich media technology and a user-friendly 'courteous download' process to deliver advertising content in an innovative and effective manner.

Even with the growing popularity of broadband Internet access, findings from the Jupiter Research Center indicate that the great majority of users still have low-bandwidth access. Cast's courteous download procedure takes the popularity of dialup into consideration and does not slow the loading of websites for these users. Cast Commercials only download when users require little or no bandwidth to view a Web site, such as during idle time, or once a page has finished loading.

In order to allow advertisers and publishers to tailor advertisements to their unique audiences, Vipcast offers three editions of Cast: TVIP, which displays commercials during transitions between web pages in the same browser window; Event-Driven, which prompts a commercial to appear in a pop-up window when a user terminates a session with a website; and Action Pop-up, which displays a commercial in a pop-up window at a time determined by the advertiser. According to Vipcast President Vivek Dave, the Cast line of commercials exceeds any and all competitors with its sheer flexibility.

With click-through ratios dropping to all-time lows, advertisers are increasingly looking for alternatives to the humble banner ad. Vipcast notes that the findings of studies performed by Forrester Research, FAC/Equities and many other firms clearly indicate that the deployment of rich media campaigns are far more effective than more established creative forms. The company notes that the advertising networks and sites using Cast will benefit from an increase in CPM rates, an increase in click-through ratios, an increase in ROI for advertisers, an increase in brand awareness, and an increase in customers' intent to purchase.

A recent study by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter found that the Internet currently accounts for only 1.5% of all marketing money spent by advertisers but Americans spend 12% of their media time online. Vipcast can provide advertisers with better ways to reach this valuable market, while providing an additional revenue stream to publishers looking to more effectively monetize their inventory.

It's worth noting, of course, that those familiar with the market will most likely detect familiarity between this company's product line and those of the more established, and similarly named, Unicast. Which product provides a more effective solution has yet to be seen.


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