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Catch these Super Bowl Ads Online Before the Big Day

Posted January 30, 2013 by fran @ 12:26 pm

Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner, so the sports industry is undoubtedly abuzz. However, it’s important to note that sports fans aren’t the only ones who will be at the edge of their seats this Sunday. The Super Bowl has always been a huge deal in the advertising industry, as it’s one of the most watched events on television. 30-second ad spots cost millions of dollars, but brands are more than willing to shell out big bucks to snag them.

What’s interesting though is that the past couple of years prompted a shift in how advertisers unveil and track their Super Bowl ads. Aside from TV, social media and online ads now play a colossal part in the deployment and measurement of these game commercials.

It all started in 2011 when German automaker Volkswagen posted their Super Bowl commercial on YouTube before the big day. The ad, which features a boy dressed in a Darth Vader costume trying to use “the force” on his dad’s VW sedan, went viral and got millions of views on the site. The move also generated a ton of buzz around the brand and it proved to be an incredibly successful move for Volkswagen.

In fact, the move was so successful, that other companies followed suit. According to YouTube industry director Suzie Reider’s statement on CNN, “in 2012, more than 60% of advertisers released ads or teasers on YouTube before the actual Super Bowl.”

This year, we’re seeing more of the same moves. Brands are unveiling their Super Bowl ads well before the big day, and netizens are more than happy to consume them.

Below is a list of sneak peeks of some of the most promising Super Bowl commercials. If you’re yearning for spoilers, check them out on YouTube below:

1. Volkswagen Super Bowl 2013 Game Day Commercial | Get In. Get Happy. – Let’s start with the brand that started it all. This year, the German automaker wants viewers to “get happy” by getting in a Volkswagen (more specifically, a 2013 Volkswagen Beetle).

2. CENTURY 21 Super Bowl Commercial: “Wedding” [Official 2013 TV Spot] – Real Estate company Century 21 on the other hand, lets people know that in case of a housing emergency, there’s no reason to panic, as long as there’s a Century 21 agent in the house. Whew. Good to know.

3. Coke Chase 2013 Ad – Coca-cola takes a slightly different approach. They released a part of their 2013 Superbowl ad on YouTube and they’re letting viewers decide on the ending. In the ad, a group of cowboys, showgirls, and badlanders are racing through the dessert towards the Coke, and it’s up to the viewers to decide on who will win the race. Want to join in on the fun? Cast your vote on cokechase.com.

4. 2014 Kia Sorento Space Babies Big Game Car Commercial Teaser – Kia Motors unveils a teaser of their game day ad, and urges people to “fasten your diapers — this adventure will blow your mind into another dimension.” Guess we’ll have to wait til this Sunday to find out what this is all about.

Image credit eshedg on Flickr

 

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How to Get In Front of Your Audience without Being Annoying

Posted January 28, 2013 by fran @ 12:19 pm

Don't be an annoying advertiser!

Don’t be an annoying advertiser!

When it comes to online advertising, companies need to strike a balance between being seen and being annoying. If you’re too subtle with your advertising, or if you’re not advertising enough, you risk being overlooked or being invisible to your customers. However, if you’re too brazen with your ads or if you use the power of advertising for evil, then you could end turning off your customers.

The key is finding the right type and frequency for your ads. Each target audience and demographic is different, and how to implement your online advertising campaigns will depend on what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to.

In any case though, there are few effective pointers that you should take into consideration:

Avoid being obtrusive – Steer clear of ads that disrupt user’s browsing experience as you might end up annoying or scaring off your audience. This is why flashy pop-up ads get such a bad rep—they show up unannounced and interrupt what the user is viewing. It’s best to run ads that naturally fit in the environment, without being invisible.

In-line text ads for instance, work great because they don’t disrupt the flow of the website’s content and only appear when users hover over them. Overlay ads are another great example because they show up on top of images or videos that are already on the page without having to appear as a different window. You can also try pre-roll ads that play before a video rolls, so your users’ browsing experience isn’t disrupted when they’re in the middle of watching an online clip.

Be cute, funny, or witty – Want to stand out without being a pain or an eyesore? Then be something that you audience actually wants to see. Distractions can sometimes be welcomed—as long as they’re the type of distraction that will amuse or entertain your target.

Be witty on your ads. Don’t be afraid to crack a joke or be a little crazy. Remember what Pringles did to keep users clicking on their ad? Or what about what Samsung and A&F did to spruce up their ads? Look into what’s hot in pop culture or find some industry jokes in your field and inject those elements into your ad campaign. Not only will you be able to entertain your target audience, but you can also be able increase the chances of the ad going viral. If it’s funny or memorable enough, people will share it and your brand can enjoy the great exposure.

Be relevant – Last but certainly not the least, is relevancy. No matter how fancy your ad is, it won’t matter if it isn’t relevant to your customer’s needs, what they’re reading, or what they’re searching for. It’s important that you select the websites and other advertising channels that your audience is into. What are the websites that your customers often visit? Make a list and see if you can advertise on those sites.

When it comes to search, do thorough keyword research before you start bidding. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and find out what they’re searching for. Want a surefire way to be relevant to the needs and interests of your customers? Then try remarketing, which targets users who have already visited your website. Remarketing is especially effective because it zeroes in on people who have expressed their need or interest in what you have to offer which means that their chances of converting are exponentially higher.

Image credit: theogeo on Flickr

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Job Seeker Uses Billboard Ad to Find Employment

Posted January 23, 2013 by fran @ 11:23 am

Here’s an interesting use of billboard ads. Unemployed grad, Adam Pacitti buys a billboard ad where he claims that he spent his last £500 (on the said billboard) in an attempt to get people to hire him. The billboard displays a URL to his website, EmployAdam.com which hosts his Video CV detailing his experience and accomplishments.

According to Mail Online, he got the idea “after sending off at least 250 CVs and only getting two interviews.” He told reporters that he “called in favours from friends and asked studios, and made the video, and decided to post the billboard in London, because that’s where most of the jobs are.”

About Adam

Cheesy? Absolutely. But as gimmicky as his efforts are, Adam’s work isn’t half bad. He graduated with a degree in Media Production (First Class Honors) from the University of Winchester, and was behind a number of viral video campaigns including “The Girl of My Dreams” which got featured on worldwide TV and had over 4 million unique hits, “Pinefall” a documentary that garnered more than 100,000 eyeballs on YouTube, and “Everything’s Bigger” which raked in more than 80,000 views on YouTube.

Adam’ employment campaign went viral, practically overnight. After publishing a photo of his billboard online, Adam said that he “ten re-Tweets in an hour”. That led to more than 7,000 RTs and media coverage from some of the biggest sources online.

The Result

So did Adam finally get hired? We’re don’t know, but we’re pretty sure it’s just a matter of time. But in the off chance that he isn’t getting any job offers yet, we highly suggest that he use Remarketing to bring employers back to his site. He should also consider using Cross Channel Advertising to serve up banner, mobile, video ads and more so he can really dominate the online ad realm. After all, he already has physical ad space covered, why not take it to cyber space as well? (Just saying.)

A Growing Trend?

Adam isn’t the first jobless individual to launch a viral “I need a job” campaign online. In 2011, unemployed product marketer Matthew Epstein launched the Google Please Hire Me campaign in an attempt to land a job at (you guessed it) Google. Like Adam, Matthew set up a website along with an  online video that spread like wildfire online.

This stunt did get him an interview with the search giant, and he was even contacted by other tech companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce, among others. In the end, Matthew didn’t get a job with the mighty Google, but he did land a product marketing manager position at a San Francisco-based startup, SigFig.

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5 Effective Channels That Can Put You In Front of Your Customers

Posted January 16, 2013 by fran @ 12:40 pm

Thanks to the wide reach of the web and technology, brands don’t just have more choices in terms of the number of channels to advertise on, they also have more targeting options that allow them to zero in on relevant customers no matter where they are or what they’re interested in. This is extremely good news for businesses that wish to put their name out there. And just in case you’ve forgotten about this little fact, this post will serve as a reminder of the many, many ways that you can get in front of your target audience.

Check out the following channels below. Are there items here that you haven’t tried? If so, why not? And if you have tried any of these channels, is there a way that you can optimize them further to get more effective results? These are just some of the questions that you should ask as you re-visit your online marketing and advertising options. Hopefully, the answers that you get will be enough to give you some insights on how you can jumpstart your campaigns.

Search results

Can you get in front of your customers at the exact time that they’re looking for you? Yes indeed, thanks to search advertising. By serving up ads through XML data feeds and search results, companies can display their ads based on the keywords that users are searching for. So as an example, if you have a flower shop in Los Angeles and want to reel in new customers, you can do so by bidding on the keywords that people are typing when they’re looking for a flower shop in LA.

Relevant websites

Find the blogs or sites that your customers frequent and purchase advertising from them. Just be sure to check the amount of traffic that the sites get, to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth. Some ad networks can take care of this for you as well, by displaying your ads on relevant sites that are part of their publishing network.

At the palm of their hand

Have you tried mobile advertising yet? If not, then it’s best to look into it as it could be the perfect opportunity to reach on the go consumers. Also make it a point to revamp your website to ensure that it’s mobile friendly, to cater to your visitors that are browsing the web using their smartphones and tablets.

Image and video overlays

Leverage the power of pictures by displaying overlay ads on relevant images. Doing so boosts the chances of your ad getting seen, because users are more inclined to notice photos and images on a page. Overlay ads can also be applied to videos, and they will allow you to get in front of customers without disrupting their viewing experience. (Overlay ads usually appear at the bottom part of a video and contain a close button.)

Wherever they are

Remarketing advertising gives you the power to reel in customers who have left your site without buying anything. If you want to bring users back to your site, you can implement a Remarketing (sometimes referred to as “Retargeting”) campaign that will display your ads on the other sites that users visit.

 

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Seeing a Spike in Sales? Thank the New Year

Posted January 14, 2013 by fran @ 2:02 pm

Adweek published a pretty interesting blog post today about how New Year’s resolutions can bring about new business for companies. It cited SocialVibe and mentioned that “Resolution-related spending is expected to reach $5.6 billion in 2013—this, despite the fact that only 28 percent of us actually accomplish our resolutions while 46 percent of us never even get started.”

Adweek then took a look at the four most common New Year’s Resolutions, namely, getting into shape, losing weight, taking charge of finances, and meeting someone; they did a quick survey and asked a major brand in each category if they’re seeing new business come in this time of year. The answer? An unanimous yes. All four major brands nodded in agreement that the New Year certainly brings in new business. Christina DeGuardi of Crunch Fitness and a Jenny Craig spokesperson both said “definitely,  while Ric Edelman of Edelman Financial Services said that his company “always” sees an increase very January. Amarnath Thombre of Match.com said that “the draw to Match.com is at an all-time high.”

Lessons for Advertisers

Even if your company doesn’t belong in any of the 4 categories mentioned above, try to find ways to use people’s “New Year High” to reel in new customers. Is there any aspect of your business that can be linked to New Year’s Resolutions? Perhaps you can unveil an ad campaign that centers on the topic of new beginnings, turning over a new leaf, or similar topics. People are obviously more engaged and energized at the beginning of the year, so be sure to take advantage of these high spirits.

What are the new year’s resolutions that your customers make the most? Is there any way that you can align your products or services with these resolutions? The key is to get creative with your online ads. See if you can relate any marketing tactics to the most common resolutions out there. Consider partnering up with relevant companies or websites so that you can get in front of your target audience.

Whatever your plan is, be sure to execute it fast. The New Year High will obviously not last forever, so you need you get in front of your target market before they lose interest.

Lessons for Publishers

January is a great time to write about New Year’s resolutions, for obvious reasons. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to publish a post on the topic (or anything similar) before the month ends. For example, if you made any resolutions of your own, be sure to share them with your visitors.  You’re bound to get more traffic since its a huge topic of interest for most people (at least for now), so don’t miss out on the opportunity!

Ask yourself what the most common resolutions are in your industry and publish something that will help readers stick to them.

In addition to posting your own resolutions, you should also try to be as helpful as possible. During the New Year, people will most likely be searching for how-to articles and tips to help them keep their resolutions, if you can, write up a helpful post on self-development.

Image credit:  MoneyBlogNewz on Flickr

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Video is about to get even bigger. Are you ready?

Posted January 9, 2013 by fran @ 1:20 pm

It shouldn’t be any question that video will be among the dominating channels in the online advertising realm. In fact, according to eMarketer, “US online video ad spending will nearly triple in the next 4 years.” So while video is a big deal right now, it looks like it’s going to get even bigger in the near future.

Whether you’re an advertiser or publisher, it’s best to see how you can take advantage of this rising medium. Video can give you the potential to reach an extremely wide audience so use it wisely and use it well.

Need ideas on how to incorporate video into your campaign? Consider the following:

PreRollStream

Advertisers: PreRollStream ads appear right before a video is played. This ad type proves to be effective because it gets in front of an audience that is already engaged. People that watch online videos respond positively to interactive ads as long as they’re relevant to what they’re about to see.

Speaking of relevance, when displaying video ads, always make sure that they’re geared towards the right audience. Consult with your ad network and ask them about how they target video ads so that you know exactly what types of users are seeing your message.

Publishers: If you aren’t placing ads on your videos yet, then you could seriously be missing out on huge revenue stream. By allowing (relevant) pre roll ads to play with your videos, you’re not only opening up opportunity to earn more money, but you’re also supplementing people’s viewing experience at the same time.

Also, if you’re worried about annoying your viewers with ads, then opt to place a close button that allows them to skip the ad and go straight to your video.

FooterRoll

Advertisers: If you’re looking for more out of the box ways to display your video ads, then consider looking into FooterRoll. This ad type appears as a horizontal toolbar at the bottom of the page. The toolbar supports an expandable advertisement that plays whenever the user hovers over it. Aside from the actual add, FooterRoll can also have social media buttons as well as a search box that allows people to have a more interactive browsing experience.

Publishers: Publishers on the other hand can use FooterRoll to add more functionality to their site while earning additional revenue in the process. The FooterRoll toolbar is customizable so you’ll be able to select the ad types and buttons that it displays. You’ll also be in control of how the toolbar behaves so you can ensure that it doesn’t disrupt the content flow of your site.

Additional Video Tips

Fancy video tools and platforms are great and all, but the fact remains that your video campaigns will only truly be effective if they’re reaching the right audience. If you’re an advertiser, always think about your target customers in every step of the video production process, from the storyboard, to production, to actually deploying the ads. It’s also best to collect data so you can improve future campaigns and be more targeted.

Remember, relevance is key.

The same thing goes for publishers. Only display videos that are relevant your content and target audience. Serving up video ads that your viewers don’t care about is a big turn off. On the contrary, if you display advertisements that are fun to watch and actually add value to your audience’s viewing experience, then you are helping to create a win-win-win experience for yourself, your audience, and advertisers.

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Have a Steady Stream of Content with These Tips

Posted January 7, 2013 by fran @ 12:50 pm

A stream of fresh and engaging content is important both in getting traffic and building a brand, so never skimp on the quality and quantity of your posts.  Every good publisher knows this and is aware that content is the lifeblood of a site and is crucial to getting revenue from pay per click ads.

Of course, producing top notch posts on a consistent basis isn’t always easy, which is why publishers should seek the assistance of websites, tools, and fellow bloggers to ensure that their website is always fresh with click-worthy articles.

Below are a few examples of  how you can do just that:

Have an editorial calendar – Save yourself from the stress of last-minute content production by developing an editorial calendar. It doesn’t have to be fancy; you can easily create one using Excel, or even Google Calendar. What’s important is that your editorial (or content) calendar should lay out your article plans and ideas for the coming months.

Collect your article ideas and assign each idea to a particular day, so that when your deadline draws near, all you need to do is consult your editorial calendar and start working.

Take on guest posters – If you have a lot of things on your plate and are way too busy to produce content consistently, then you may want to consider getting into guest posting. As its name clearly indicates, guest posting works by letting people who aren’t part of your organization to contribute posts to your site. In return, guest posters would ask the be allowed to include a link somewhere in the article (usually in its author bio) that leads to their own website.

Guest posting creates a win-win situation for both parties. The site owner is able to publish new content for their website, while the guest poster gets a backlink or two out of it.

Do note however, that not all guest posts are created equal. You should only accept guest posts that meet the standards of your website and that truly offer value to readers. Do not take articles just for the sake of doing it, as low quality posts can tarnish the image of your site and send visitors packing.

Have handy tool for jotting down ideas – Never let your brilliant ideas slip through the cracks! Always jot down any thoughts or concepts that may occur to you. Download a nifty app such as Evernote to ensure that you will be able to record your ideas even when you’re on the go.

Interview other people in your industry – Consider interviewing other people in your space to shake things up on your website. Talk to them about a hot issue or event and exchange ideas. Doing so can really stir up discussion—not just between you and your interviewee but with site visitors as well. Not to mention, doing an interview can also be mutually beneficial. On one hand, you are able to get new content and potentially a new audience for your site, while the person being interviewed is able to put their ideas out there and could possibly gain a new audience themselves.

Image credit:  cambodia4kidsorg on Flickr

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3 Questions to Ask Before Unveiling an Ad Campaign

Posted January 2, 2013 by fran @ 12:33 pm

In online advertising, no one can fully guarantee that your ad campaign will be a hit. Yes, you can (and should) run tests have creative brainstorming sessions to tweak and develop the ad campaign much as you want, but the fact is, you won’t really know if it’s a hit or miss until it is actually out there.

Fortunately though, there are few things that you can do to improve its chances of success. As mentioned above, you should test the components of your campaign to see which aspects are working and which ones aren’t. Split test designs or copy to determine the best ones. If you discover that’s something’s amiss, go back to the drawing board and brainstorm changes and revamps.

On top of this, it’s important to note that the success of an ad campaign doesn’t just depend on the ads and how they are deployed. External factors (acts of God, political and social shifts) also come into play and they certainly have to power to make or break your campaign. And while you don’t always have control of these factors, it’s best to always keep them in check before running your ads.

To help you assess the internal and external components that can affect your ad campaign, we’ve put together a few questions that can help determine if it’s the right time to unveil your campaign. Check them out below, apply the ones that are right for your situation and be sure to ask these questions before hitting the “Launch” button.

Is your product bug free?

Even the most brilliant of ads won’t do you any good if the product is faulty. Take Apple, for example. The tech giant recently unveiled an awesome new ad featuring the Williams sisters. The ad, which demonstrated the iPhone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature was funny, witty, and effective. Too bad the timing of its release was terrible. As AdWeek pointed out, while the spot was indeed brilliant, it was “released for New Year’s—when, due to a glitch involving the rollover to 2013, “Do Not Disturb” suddenly stopped working for a number of users on Tuesday morning.”

Of course, trying to foresee problems in your products is a difficult task. (Evidently even the great Apple can slip in this department.) But do make it a point to give your product a thorough check especially when you’re planning to release a big ad campaign about it.

What’s going on in the news?

Always, always check the news and trending topics lists before launch. A poorly timed ad can give you a PR disaster faster than you can say “retraction” so do your homework before unveiling an ad campaign. For instance, if you released an ad for guns or bullets around the time when the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took place, you’d certainly receive a lot of flak from the public.

To prevent your ad campaigns from backfiring, be sure to always keep tabs on what’s happening in your industry and in the public sphere in general. It’s one thing to ride on a trending topic, but being timely in the worst possible way is a different story.

If your website up for it?

Don’t forget to check the pages and features of your website / landing page before publishing an ad campaign. Ensure that your target audience will be able to perform your desired call to action by testing all the buttons and links on your site. Also ask yourself if your website will be able to handle the traffic that your ads may bring. The last thing you want is a site outage in the middle of your campaign.

Image credit:  Colin_K on Flickr

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