Posted November 3, 2011 2:59 pm by with 0 comments

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Yahoo has launched two new ad services designed to engage consumers in a more meaningful and fun way.

First is the Social Sentiment Slider. The slider is a sponsored poll that is attached to a piece of content on Yahoo’s site.

Here’s what it looks like:

We can’t see the article, but presumably it’s a news feature about the rise in luxury item sales, or something along those lines. People move the slider to express their opinion, the percentages change and then they can post that opinion directly to Facebook.

There’s no doubt that social engagement will help brand awareness, but there’s also a potential pitfall. The ad sponsor doesn’t get to choose the slider question, Yahoo does. In the above case, it can be disconcerting to see a high percentage to the negative side (Status) when you’re promoting a luxury car right underneath.

In the grand scheme, it’s probably a case of “no visibility is bad visibility,” since people can help but be aware of the ad as they chime in on the instant poll.

Living Ads

Yesterday, Yahoo introduced Livestand. This is an iPad reader app that presents you with content from a (not so) long list of news sources. It’s less about text and more about graphics. It’s about bringing you new information in a fast, easily consumed way.

To go along with that, they’ve launched Living Ads. These interactive pages walk and talk and tell a story. They invite the reader in for a look around and they allow the user to control the pace. Imagine a TV commercial where you can turn the corner and see what’s going on out of camera range, or zoom in on a record and play it.

They call it “where motion and emotion meet” and it’s an excellent way of drawing a consumer into the world of a specific brand. Again, it’s about keeping the reader on the page longer and for now, at least, these ads are so novel, they should work.

They better work — they cost around 500,000 and they don’t use clicks as a measurement of success.

The best thing about Living Ads is that they’re made for the iPad. They aren’t web ads that just happen to show up on the tablet. They’re a whole new animal that takes advantage of what the iPad has to offer.

Tablets are the only “active lean back” media. It provides the active engagement of a computer with the lean back, relaxed mode that is TV. For that, we have to design all new ways of providing content and advertising and Yahoo has taken a big step in that direction.

Want to see Living Ads in action? Watch a demo at