Back in September 2010, AOL announced a new kind of desktop ad system they called Project Devil. Devil ads are mini, branded playgrounds that serve up interactive content in the same places you’d find traditional banner ads.
A Devil ad for Nordstrom’s includes a fashion show video and a store finder. An ad for a movie includes the trailer, the buzz on Twitter and a link to buy tickets. Tour the inside of a car and click to get details on the features. Learn how to bake a cake then create a shopping list right from the app.
AOL says Devil ads have 4x the engagement rate, 3x the engagement time and increase purchase intent by 263%. And now, they’re coming to mobile.
AOL calls them Premium Formats for Mobile but Project Devil for Mobile sounds so much cooler, don’t you think?
These ads, though built for desktop use, really are made for mobile. Mobile is tactile and visual and much more engaging when you get it right. To help you get there, AOL has introduced five applications that can be built into a mobile Devil ad.
Photo Gallery – Allows advertisers to tell their brand story through beautiful, high-quality images of products or messages. Up to nine images can be featured in a carousel that can be swiped through to see the next image.
Video Gallery – Displays stunning HD content and provides advertisers with another platform to utilize TV spots and other video content that has already been produced.
Content feed – Advertisers can include proprietary feeds to highlight company news and updates for consumers.
Facebook feed – Displays content from a brand’s Facebook page in a scrollable-list to provide real-time conversation updates.
Twitter feed – Displays content from a brand’s account or a chosen hash-tag in a scrollable-list to provide real-time conversation updates.
Advertisers can add any three of these items into one ad. They can also change content on the fly and monitor performance across all platforms individually.
It’s easy to see how these kinds of ads outperform their static counterparts. They make the user a part of the experience with social media and they entertain while they inform with content feeds and video.
This is how ads should work on mobile. Bye-bye banners, hello interactive content.