IAR Bits and Bytes

Turn On Media Debuts Offering

Westborough, Mass.-based Turn On Media is betting that there’s a market in
selling advertising inventory on users’ PCs — before Windows loads.

Through its new product offering, Turn On Media, a unit of Insyde
Software, Inc., plans to place ads on users’ screens as the operating system
is booting. Normally, users see plain text messages as the computer goes
through its startup processes. Instead, the firm delivers full-screen, rich
media ads.

A key part of Turn On Media’s proposition is that its parent, Insyde
Software, manufactures low-level BIOS software for clients like
Hewlett-Packard, National Semiconductor, Nokia, Philips and Sony. As a
result, the Turn On Media advertising spinoff uses Insyde technology to
interact with PCs before they even have a full-fledged operating system up
and running.

The ads can incorporate sound, animation, e-commerce and links to Web
pages (which load once Windows is running). Turn On Media said it envisions
its product being used for advertising, sponsorships, direct marketing
promotions, music and movie trailers, affinity programs and internal
corporate communications.

After Windows loads and while a user is online, Turn On Media also
downloads and queues the next ad, in preparation for the PC’s next startup.
The ads are targeted in accordance with consumer-specified preferences.

The software that makes this all possible is expected to be distributed
to users via the Web and CD-ROM, and will promise to deliver targeted
special offers and content.

Turn On Media VP of marketing Ian Cross also said that the firm plans to
partner with PC makers to offer the software already pre-installed on
store-bought PCs. In that event, the manufacturers would split the ad sales
revenue with Turn On Media.

“We created this new interactive marketing technology from our deep
experience in developing the BIOS firmware for PCs and Internet-access
devices that enables computers to boot up,” said Turn On Media president and
chief executive Jonathan Joseph. “It offers the flexibility of interactive
marketing, the branding power of print and broadcast media without the size
and content limitations of banners and e-mail marketing, and a new,
patent-pending and unavoidable location for message delivery.”

“Research … revealed that consumers are tiring of overloaded e-mail
inboxes and ubiquitous banner ads, and resent the unwelcome intrusion of
interstitial pop-up messages,” Joseph added. “When shown a Turn On Media
demonstration, 81 percent of these respondents were very positive about
viewing messages, particularly if they could indicate their preferences.”

The firm said the product would be priced on an impression basis over
time. For rich media ads that include e-commerce, Turn On Media also said
it would deduct a share of the sales revenue.

Bluestreak to Serve Eyeblaster Ads

Rich media ad firm Eyeblaster has struck a deal with ad server
Bluestreak, landing another serving partner for its out-of-banner ad format.

Through the agreement, terms of which were not disclosed, Bluestreak now
will offer Alley-based Eyeblaster’s technology to its ad serving customers
and on its sites. Bluestreak’s rich media formats are accepted on more than
20,000 sites, including America Online and Yahoo!, it said.

The deal also broadens Bluestreak’s rich media arsenal. From its own
beginnings as a rich media provider, Bluestreak has offered a host of
internally developed rich and streaming media products. Now, Newport,
R.I.-based Bluestreak adds support for a third-party ad format to its
product suite.

Silverpop Launches Agency Program

Atlanta-based e-mail marketing software start-up Silverpop Systems said
it has launched a new initiative designed to expand its client base.

Similarly to efforts by larger technology players like Microsoft , Silverpop has created a partnership program that includes
online and traditional ad agencies and direct marketing firms. Ideally,
partnering with the agencies will help promote Silverpop’s e-mail product to

Termed the Silverpop Dynamic Marketers Program, the initiative claims
i-shops such as Armchair Media, Bennett Kuhn Varner, DeepFry, Macquarium,
Power I and Xcelerate among its list of members.

As partners, the agencies will use Silverpop’s Dynamic Messaging software
as part of their overall offering to clients.

“The launching of our Silverpop Dynamic Marketers program signifies our
commitment to the world of interactive marketing and our goal to have
Silverpop’s products become the de facto standard for agencies and firms
wishing to add powerful e-mail technology to their list of capabilities,”
said Greg Foster, Silverpop vice president of business development.

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