If you found an ad format that could be up to 900 x 400, feature rich media and guarantee audience engagement for at least 30 seconds—with testing showing average engagement of over a minute—you’d think it was too good to be true, right?
But that’s the newest ad format and promises from Meebo. In addition to on-site chat and free-standing IM (integrated with popular clients), the instant messaging company powers MySpace IM and Facebook Chat and some forty other good-sized networking sites. Their new ad format already has up to 85 interested websites signed up.
Reuters reports that new ad format shows up first as an icon on the chat toolbar on a partner’s page. Interested users can click on the tab to open the full ad as an overlay (although in the image below, it says “rollover,” not “click”).
Meebo’s COO, Martin Green, says that because only interested users view the full ad, the engagement is far higher than with traditional ads:
We have done this in testing and in the last couple of months we get on average over a minute of time spent, which is a massive amount of time with advertisers’ content. Part of the reason is you only get people who are interested in checking it out.
As shown in the example above, Toyota has already signed on for the new ad format, as has AT&T.
And as for that guarantee? If you don’t get your audience’s engagement for at least 30 seconds, “Green says the company will make up the time by running a proportional amount of ads to cover the discrepancy.”
What do you think? Has Meebo found a key to advertising by only appealing to interested parties? Or will the appeal still be so limited that it’s simply not worth advertisers’ time?