Vibrant Aims for More Page Real Estate

Vibrant Media is looking to turn more hyperlinks into ad opportunities

September 10, 2008, (Brian Morrissey, New York) — Vibrant Media here is rolling out a new publishing product that will turn additional hyperlinks into ad-supported content.

Users mousing over the "related-content" links will be able to access articles or videos -- along with advertising. The units come equipped to run 250 x 300 pixel banner ads or pre-roll video spots.

Vibrant already sprinkles the Web pages of 3,500 publishers with so-called "in-text advertising" that turns hyperlinks into ads. Users mousing over double-green underlined words are greeted by videos or other advertiser content. Some marketers, like Microsoft Live and YellowPages.com, have used these units to display related search results.

Doug Stevenson, CEO of Vibrant, said the new offering follows the mode of providing targeted content to users, giving publishers a chance to retain consumer attention longer and direct them to high-value site areas. The related-content links will be in a different style than Vibrant's double underlines.

"Instead of just delivering an ad, they're delivering content," he said. "Publishers have turned around to ask about providing their content."

Some publishers are making more money from the in-text ads on pages than banners on the periphery, Stevenson said.

Vibrant is testing the new application with over 50 publishers, including DetroitNews.com, eHow and iVillage.

After initial concerns about Vibrant's practice of tightly marrying advertising content with editorial content, several news publishers have signed up to run the ads, including FoxNews.com and MSNBC. With the ad network reaching 40 percent of Internet users and top-notch brands like Ford, Microsoft and Procter & Gamble on board, Stevenson believes the practice is now mainstream.

"We've done a reasonable job of educating all of the people in the value chain," he said.

To back that up, Vibrant commissioned research from Nielsen Online, a division of Adweek parent the Nielsen Co., showing 69 percent of users recognized the Vibrant double underlines as advertising and 70 percent found them more relevant than banners ads on the page.

Vibrant boasts high click rates -- it charges advertisers only when users click through to their Web sites -- which provides incentive to avoid accidental user interaction with its ads, Stevenson said.

"We pay publishers for the mouseovers," he said. "We don't want there to be extra mouseovers. We only charge the advertiser on the click. It's not in our interest for there to be a view."

While Stevenson sees Vibrant's approach as far superior to run-of-the-mill banner ad networks, he concedes that the vast majority of publishers are not looking at in-text units as alternatives to display ads but additions to them.

"Ultimately it's not our job to decide how much advertising is on the page," he said. "That's up to the publisher."

Source Article: www.adweek.com

About Vibrant
Vibrant is a world leader in contextual technology, aligning billions of words across the internet with relevant video, information, tools, and advertising. With over 4,000 premium publishers, reaching more than 135 million unique users per month (comScore, May 2009), Vibrant gives top brand marketers the opportunity to deliver highly targeted advertisements within premium Web content and offers publishers premium editorial tools to re-circulate users throughout their websites. The company, founded in 2000, has offices in London, New York, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Paris and Hamburg. For more information, visit: www.vibrantmedia.com, www.vibrantmedia.co.uk, www.vibrantmedia.de, www.vibrantmedia.fr.