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Enliven to Integrate IBM HotMedia

Narrative Communications Corp. said it will integrate IBM HotMedia Java-based authoring tools with its Enliven 3.0 Web advertising campaign measurement, reporting, and transactional capabilities.

The combination of Enliven and IBM HotMedia was made to allow advertisers to take consumers on vehicle test drives, new product demos, and home tours, offer additional information and commerce capabilities within the ad, and receive immediately measurable campaign results, Narrative said.

"IBM has used Enliven for several successful campaigns," said Marianne Caponnetto, director of IBM worldwide media strategy and operations, corporate marketing. "Enliven with HotMedia will provide advertisers with the best of both worlds from lightweight delivery and front-end creative to back-end reporting." Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Enliven with HotMedia will use virtual reality technologies to create a new type of online ad that gives viewers control over what they see in an advertising image. Using their mouse, viewers will be able to pan, scroll, and zoom in on the plug-in-free images, Narrative said.. The persistent caching capabilities of Enliven 3.0 and the small HotMedia Java applet minimize download times to promote greater interactivity from browsers.

3D object movie "fly-arounds" will allow viewers to look at objects from all sides, such as a computer or automobile, giving a complete sense of the product's appearance. Panoramic image tours will allow viewers to "step inside and look around" as if they were in the center of the space in the image, Narrative said. The experience gives the viewer a sense of "being there," from a small environment, such as a car interior where the viewer sits in the drivers seat, to larger environments, such as the living room of a home for sale. Zoomable images will allow viewers to see a high level of detail, such as the instruments on a car dashboard or the wallpaper of a banquet room.

Another new feature of Enliven 3.0, Enliven Expand, will provide more ad space for special effects capabilities. Enliven Expand enables users to expand the size of an ad on a Web page with an ad click or mouse hover, giving content developers more space for more immersive creative.

"The new Enliven with HotMedia capabilities will not only make these online ads more potent, but can help advertisers target certain sectors of their audience very well," said Hilmi Ozguc, CEO of Waltham, MA-based Narrative. "Viewers will get a fuller sense of a product or service to help move them along the decision-making process. . . "

Enliven with HotMedia is scheduled to be available for the creation of fourth quarter 1998 advertising campaigns.