Interactive Advertising

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Interactive advertising has largely supplanted print and TV ads as many companies' preferred marketing method. That's because it's become so expensive to advertise on a network, even at off hours, or through a major publication that the average mid-sized firm or shop cannot compete. For those who champion unrestricted free markets and corporate consolidation, consider that a mere fraction of one percent of all businesses can afford to go through formerly mainstream ad channels.

That's all well and good, since the very definition of "mainstream" is changing. A diversified and fragmented medium like the Internet corrals hundreds of millions of users who'd otherwise tune into other media for their news and entertainment. Hence, interactive advertising, which emphasizes the user's direct experience with a given product, is the growing trend.

Examples of Interactive Advertising

Interactive advertising can mean a wide variety of things. For some, banners and buttons are "interactive" simply because they're placed on the Web, which, to the advertiser, is sufficient. Other interactive advertising campaigns structure spots in the form of games, quizzes, or other novelties that aim to win users' attention through a sort of subterfuge. You may think you're seeing the latest web-produced short film to conquer the Internet, only to discover that you're actually watching a slick and polished commercial produced by a top online marketing agency.

Other companies, meanwhile, choose to build entirely new sites from the ground up with the intention of launching new promotions from their pages. Many movie studios, for example, buy up the domain names of movies on their upcoming release slate, then dedicate considerable bandwidth to piquing their visitors' interest through rumor and innuendo. You can take advantage of these same techniques, only on a smaller scale, by building a website that serves as a forum for your clients, either through the use of message boards, chat rooms, or other interactive elements.

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