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What do events, award shows and holidays have in common? They are broad cultural moments that touch vast audiences and capture interest.

That means that for advertisers, an event or holiday is also opportunity to be topical and make a positive association with a brand, create some engaging content, or drive a direct response.

Thinking broadly, here are some forthcoming events and holidays that advertisers are already planning for:

2013

  • NCAA Football
  • 65th Emmys
  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Christmas
  • The Presidents Cup
  • Rugby League World Cup 2013

2014

  • 2014 Olympics
  • FIFA World Cup: Brasil
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Superbowl XLVIII
  • Grammy Awards
  • Oscars
  • Golden Globe Awards
  • NCAA March Madness

A content-rich display ad campaign can capture audience attention and bring any one of these event to life.

Whether you’re an official sponsor of the 2014 Olympics, a reality show in the final episodes, or just a site trying to sell some holiday merchandise — if you’re doing event-based online advertising, make your rich media campaigns stand out with these interactive features:

Pre-event

Poll

Encourage your audience to vote for their favorite team or predict a winner in a branded ad unit. For events like Valentine’s Day, poll your audience on what gift or activity is on their wish-list. Reveal the results upon submission.

Calendar

Even a simple date reminder in an ad can be exactly what you need to draw eyes to your branding and messaging. Better yet, add some utility with an “Add to Calendar” button and help your audience remember when the event is.

Slideshow

Add depth to the ad experience with slideshows of teams, players, nominees, gift ideas, or hot deals.

Social Share

Extend the ad experience to social media by combining share-worthy content with sharing buttons.

During-event

Poll

Get a during-event spike in ad engagement by asking fans to predict winners and MVPs, vote on their favorites from past games, or comment on musical performances during an event.

Streaming Video

Streaming video services like uStream are now offering integrations with display ads, allowing live broadcasts to play right in the ad. Syndicate your event coverage or offer a 1-minute teaser for pay-per-view content to create engagement and conversions.

Social Feed

If your brand plans to have an active social feed during a sporting event or awards show, you can amplify the power of that content and commentary to an off-site audience by streaming the social feed into branded ad units.

Post-event

Reactive Article or Slideshow

Close out your event with an interactive unit displaying the results of the event.