Media2india, a Microland Group company, recently brought together a community of web sites to form RichNet, with the aim to support Rich Media advertising. The objective is to improve click-throughs and brand communication by adopting the multimedia-advertising format. Rich Media uses graphics, animation, visuals, and sound to provoke better brand curiosity on the Net.
Explaining the rationale behind the formation of RichNet, Ashok Ghose, vice-president, marketing, Media2india said, "Owing to a visual appeal similar to television advertising, Rich Media advertising hopes to create involvement and interest in the user. Advertisers are looking to maximise the power of the Internet, beyond the simple metrics of click through rates (CTRs) on banner advertising. And here RichNet helps advertisers enhance communications delivery by integrating campaigns across television and the Internet, communicating complex brand messages including personality, image and style."
Media2india conceived of the RichNet concept from studies that were conducted internationally. CTRs for Rich Media advertising were found to range from 4 - 10 per cent. This showed that Rich Media advertising had a higher brand recall and consumer interest compared with more traditional forms of banner advertising on the Net. "There was a need for advertising units that allowed greater creative freedom to aid powerful branding and that ultimately led to higher response rates. And through RichNet we hope to address this issue," said Ghosh.
"Rich Media and streaming applications are the future of online advertising," Ghosh continued. According to the latest NASSCOM study (January 2001), the Internet has grown to more than 5.5 million users in India. Further to this, with India's investment in broadband access, more and more people would be able to see Rich Media advertising. "Internationally, CTRs have dropped to around 0.3-0.4 per cent. Though in India the CTRs have remained stable in the range of 0.5-1.0 per cent, the need for effective online advertising cannot be undermined," he added.
Rich Media advertising was first used by Intel in 1997. Talking about the success of Rich Media, Suzzane Brisendine, the Rich Media evangelist for Intel said, " Two years ago, web sites were not accepting interactive ads. Today, we have a body of research that tells us Rich Media advertising works. Overall we have found that larger ads and more interactivity bring about a dramatic increase in the click-through response. Right now companies have started delivering rich media over what the industry refers to now as narrow band (the existing speed). With the spread of broadband, bandwidth issues will go away. Rich Media ads will then become a hassle-free job."
British Airways, Microsoft, Coke, Ford are among other international advertisers who are using Rich Media advertising effectively. Several Indian clients of Media2india, such as HLL, LG Electronics, ICICI, NIIT, Compaq, Intel, Parle have expressed interest in this format. Media2india currently offers advertisers the option of both Rich Media banners as well as Rich Media pop-up windows. Media2india has also signed up with web publishers to be part of the RichNet network.
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