Alternative Media: Stop, Click, and Listen

Flashier rich-media advertisements add flare and functionality to otherwise static ads.
Feb 01, 2007

Chris Saridakis
Hear that? That's the sound of consumers not clicking on your online ad. They've smartened up and realized that a static banner ad is just going to lead them away from the site they are pursuing, costing them valuable time and effort. For a less-invasive ad experience, brand managers have turned to rich-media-enhanced advertising, which offers all the information consumers need—without ever having to leave the page.

Getting Rich

So, what exactly is rich-media advertising? A general definition refers to online ad units that contain sound, video, animation, interactivity, product demos, and games—all within the confines of a standard-size online ad. However, rich media is much more than cool features—with rich features come richer metrics.

Rich-media advertising offers brand managers all the tracking functionality of a traditional Web site. Additionally, companies can track the amount of time a consumer spends interacting with an ad, the time the ad was displayed on the page, and various levels of user engagement.

Organon's campaign for NuvaRing features a rich-media-enhanced ad that allows users to print a voucher for a free sample without being redirected to another site.
Within rich-media ads, online users can interact with pharmaceutical brands by watching animated drug details, downloading coupons or free trial offers, participating in patient surveys/polls, and even setting medication reminders in their personal e-mail or calendar programs.

Driving Direct Response

HeartBeat Digital created a rich-media campaign for Organon's NuvaRing product, featuring interactive ad technology that pushes detailed content directly to consumers. Within the ad, users can print a voucher for a free sample of the NuvaRing product without being redirected to another site or being required to provide further user information. The NuvaRing rich-media ads are treated as an extension of the company's branded site, rather than a means to drive consumers to the site. The creative material was placed on Web sites and portals where the target audience finds the majority of their health information, effectively delivering both product messages and coupon offers.

Beyond Advertising Richer Clinical Trials
Additionally, by monitoring brand-interaction time, NuvaRing is able to track users' time spent and actions taken on the site, and optimize the campaign accordingly. Brand marketers also track how many coupons remain in the database at the end of each day, thereby accounting for how many coupons are downloaded on a daily basis. This measurement capability allows for an accurate projection of daily results.

Pharma Calling

Failing to remember when to take medications is a common cause for drop off in treatment adherence. To combat this, pharmaceutical brand managers can execute a rich-media online-advertising campaign featuring an interactive calendar reminder. These types of campaigns are particularly effective when attempting to stimulate adherence for non-daily medications or for seasonal prescription treatments.

For example, the calendar-reminder functionality can be used as part of a seasonal-allergy-medication campaign to remind patients to refill their prescriptions and reinforce the importance of taking medication regularly. The rich-media ad allows users to enter their treatment schedule directly into the advertisement, which automatically syncs the data with the user's personal e-mail or calendar program.

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