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Does Rich Media Rock?

Yes it does, if you go by what the creative agencies and brand marketers are looking at in order to capture consumer attention. Gone are the days of static banner ads, or that is what the brand marketers are saying. It is true in a sense. Today the consumers are inundated with advertisements that create a clutter, and not many brand voices can get registered. Moreover the attention span is lessening because there are so many things to see and hear for the consumers. That is why there is an increasing need for brands to make a differentiation – that is where rich media works.

“Rich media allows you to create distinctive and effective marketing and branding campaigns. It allows a brand to tell its story differently and be more engaging,” says Bruno Fiorentini Junior, General Manager, Microsoft Advertising & Online APAC. Giving another insight into rich media, Akshay Garg, Co-founder, VP, International, Komli Media, “Today rich media is a catch all phrase. But it has become the centre piece of advertising. It gets people to pay attention to your brand in an engaging manner.”

So how can a brand make rich media advertising work for it? Rich media advertising represents a powerful creative opportunity for brands. It is not video but an amalgamation of many different formats. Rich media strategy allows brands to create campaigns that deliver far greater impact through video, gaming, and dynamic content. “Advertising armed with rich media interactivity delivers significant uplifts in brand awareness, message association and purchase intent,” explains Fiorentini.

Can rich media be too intrusive for consumers to get irritated with a brand or neglect it completely? Yes it can. However brands need to devise a code of conduct for themselves, and ensure that their campaigns do not intrude upon a consumer’s important task. Then it can have an adverse effect. Talking about how brands should push their rich media content, Garg explains, “Your consumers should enjoy watching the rich media content and get involved in your brand’s ad ecosystem. One good thing about rich media is that it leaves the decision to participate in the consumer’s hands. Brands should map the consumers and put their rich media content in places where they are most likely to engage.”

Interestingly, IAB has announced its Rising Star ad formats where rich media plays a very important role. Microsoft received an award for both the PC and mobile ad unit called Filmstrip.  The company also recently announced MSN Page Reveal, which will be available across markets in Asia in late Q3 or early Q4. “Page Reveal is built to spark curiosity from the consumer while delivering high impact campaigns for the advertiser.  The rollover reveals key images from the ad unit until the full 300×250 creative is displayed in a user-initiated page take-over,” explains Fiorentini.

So who will most benefit today from adopting rich media as a part of their branding strategy? Besides consumer packaged goods companies, as Garg says, rich media provides a unique storytelling opportunity for entertainment, automotive, and consumer electronics, among others.

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