RealTime IT News

IAB Begins Ad Push

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the trade group representing sellers of online advertising, launched a multi-media ad blitz on Thursday aimed at convincing advertisers and agencies to make online a bigger part of their media plans.

The seven-month campaign, designed by Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners, will feature real-life "superhero" executives who improved brand awareness through online advertising. The ads, containing the IAB's tagline "Interactive: The Active Ingredient," encourage marketers to visit the IAB Web site for case studies of how the executives used online to improve their marketing plans.

"They wanted real-life success stories with real-life marketers," said Kelly Colbert, vice president of marketing at the IAB. "We're very much looking to give evidence to those marketers and agency folks that are on the fence."

The ads will run both online and in print. A variety of IAB members donated ad space, including Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and The Wall Street Journal Online. Full-page print ads will run in Advertising Age and Media magazines. The IAB also plans to back up the campaign with an e-mail campaign run by NetCreations, as well as outdoor advertising in Times Square. All elements of the campaign, from the design to the placements, were donated.

The online ads will use all four IAB-approved formats, along with rich media executions by Eyeblaster, Unicast and Viewpoint. Colbert declined to give an impression level for the campaign, which will use domain targeting to serve ads to visitors from top advertisers and agencies.

"This medium has become very precise," she said.

Atlas DMT will handle the ad serving and tracking, while Dynamic Logic will conduct an AdIndex study to measure the campaign's effectiveness. Dynamic Logic is a longtime partner of the IAB, acting as a lead participant in the group's cross-media optimization series of case studies.

The first two executives in the campaign are Cammie Dunaway, vice president and general manager for marketing at Frito Lay, and Phil Bienert, manager of customer relationship management and e-business at Volvo Cars of North America. Dunaway is lauded for her decision to take Frito-Lay's spending on a Super Bowl spot and earmarking it for online promotions. The move is said to have improved Doritos' sales by 5 percent. Bienert earned his superhero stripes in September 2000 by launching the VolvoS60 online, a first for carmakers. The move is reported to have generated a 350 percent return on investment.

The IAB plans to name more superheroes throughout the campaign. Colbert said the exact number has not been decided.

The ad push follows up on a Euro RSCG-designed campaign that ran last July, delivering more than 340 million impressions. That campaign, the IAB's first ever, was part of the trade group's effort to take a higher profile in the industry. The IAB tripled its membership base last year and doubled its staff. It recently wrapped up a seven-city road show hawking the findings of its cross-media optimization case studies. IAB members recently agreed to a suite of four standard ad units, known as the Universal Ad Package.