I think we’re moving into an era in which “static banner” is going to be a description we use for more than just gif backups. Here’s what I mean. Just because the content in a Flash banner wiggles around, that doesn’t mean that the essence of its content isn’t static. If it’s the same words, images and offers, that’s static in my book.
Why are we continuing to deliver what amounts to little more than a print ad in the most dynamic medium the world has ever known? Why must we replicate the “forever” content model of TV and Print ads when we don’t have to? Surely people would respond more to units that incorporate dynamic content, social media capabilities, and and and.
A start-up called Flite is based upon this very notion. Their platform empowers advertisers and publishers to create, serve, and measure ads that are as dynamic as the web itself.
The capabilities of their platform fall into five main buckets:
• A real-time web based ad builder lets creative teams drop content and capabilities into units for immediate deployment. What’s more, you don’t need an engineering degree to do it. It was specifically designed to dramatically reduce dev time and cost, as well as enable edits to units on an as needed basis.
• Dynamic web content integration lets you port in content from your own site or through third party APIs. This is the part I liked best – the idea that we can integrate up-to-the-minute news and information for greater relevance and noticing value.
• Social media integration enables you to easily incorporate both FB and Twitter buttons as well as real time feeds from your presences or the larger social graph.
• Deep metrics and analytics measure a whole litany of actions, from the “gimmes” — clicks and imps — to expands, open/closes, scrolls, shares to mobile, social media follows/shares/sends, video plays and tab clicks. You can also integrate with your existing 3rd party server.
• Mobile compatibility, so that the same ads can be served on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. An interesting aspect of this is that it will automatically deliver an HTML 5 version of the content to devices that don’t support Flash. That’s an important capability as the marketplace gradually shifts.
Here’s the video show ‘n tell:
Now, that’s a lot of technological capability, but I am going to ooh and ahh about the significance of what that may make possible. Rather than what’s under the hood.
One of the reasons why so much digital creative sucks is that under the prevailing development model, the composition of creative teams has to skew heavily toward executors versus concepters. It’s the mechanics of a unit that are the focus of most of the “people hours” on a banner, rather than the idea that (should) drive it. As a result, most online and mobile ads have no creative idea that the execution hangs on. Without such an idea, it follows that banners are generally ugly and boring.
There’s an actual idea in many TV spots. Not so our pixely creations.
With a platform like Flite, creative organizations can shift the team focus from the “how” to the “what.” And by doing so, we may well get a heckuvalot more online creative that surprises and delights with its story, interactivity, and message.
Will Price, CEO of Flite, describes its value prop thus: “In the past decade the web has grown increasingly interactive and has crossed multiple platforms beyond the desktop browser, while banner ads have stayed relatively static. With Flite, we’re taking the same technology that changed the web to make more dynamic, and therefore more engaging, ads. The Flite cloud platform gives advertisers the ability to pull content from across the web to create ads that function like microsites, with highly-engaging real-time content that is poised to change the face of online advertising.”
Flite is a lot farther along than many of the companies I write about. They just got their Series C, and have already worked with the likes of Coke, VW, Burberry, and Forbes. This experience with big brands has enabled them to demonstrate what I think intuitively we all know. Dynamism drives better results.
So behold the inflection point that platforms like Flite are driving – the opportunity for simplified execution to enable agencies to focus more on concepts and ideas. A game changer for those who think in terms of changed games. Or just a cool whizbang ad platform that’ll save you a lot of time and money. Take your pick. Both are pretty compelling propositions…
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