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Johnson & Johnson?s Zyrtec runs mobile banner campaign on app

Johnson & Johnson's Zyrtec allergy brand is running expandable banner ads on The Weather Channel for iPhone 2.0, which is now ad-supported, but still free for consumers.

Consumers can click on the ad to expand it and check out the advertiser's offer page without closing the application. The newest enhanced version of The Weather Channel application for iPhone and iPod touch is now available in the Apple App Store.

"Our upgraded iPhone application has launched, and we included features that customers ask for the most, such as looping radar so you can see which direction wind and precipitation are going and images from roads in major cities," said Louis Gump, vice president of mobile for TWCi, Atlanta.

"We launched a true mobile advertising product, and Zyrtec signed on as an advertiser, so we're really excited about that," he said. "This is the first time that we've done an expandable banner ad -- it's user-initiated, there's been tremendous activity on it and Johnson & Johnson has been extremely pleased with the ad's performance."

Zyrtec is an over-the-counter allergy medication designed to relieve runny nose, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and itching of the nose and throat. It was the top new non-food product of 2008 in the U.S., generating the sales of $315.9 million.

When a consumer clicks on the Zyrtec banner ad, it expands to take up most of the screen without actually closing The Weather Channel application.

There is a picture of the medication's packaging and the following messages: "The fastest 24-hour OTC allergy relief. Love the air. Try it. If you don't love it, it's FREE."

Consumers can lick on the ?Offer' icon to get more information.

Advertisers such as Johnson & Johnson will receive multi-platform impressions across online and on mobile for one month.

Consumers can click on expandable banner ads to link to a WAP site or click-to-call, video or other locations, all without closing the weather application.

This creative execution was based on industry feedback from advertisers, who told TWC that they are looking for services where consumers can interact with the creative without being redirected to another site.

"Johnson & Johnson's Zyrtec has been a long-time advertiser with us on the mobile Web -- the brand has had run-of-site advertising as well -- and they are one of our most prominent and loyal advertisers," Mr. Gump said. "When we launched our new ad product, they jumped on it, and they'll get a lot of great value from it.

"Johnson & Johnson is a company that's been very pleased with the mobile Web, and it has done a variety of ad buys, and now it has extended to a new platform, our upgraded iPhone application," he said. "Advertising funds a lot of innovation, and free apps are going to have ads, but there are the many different ways we can make it consumer friendly, to put the consumer first.

"The expandable ad has a cascade of information, but the consumer elected to open the ad, so it's less intrusive and more effective."

TWC upgrades mobile content
Last year, NBC Universal, Bain Capital and Blackstone Group bought The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications.

The Weather Channel Interactive is a leading provider of broadband and wireless weather products including, The Weather Channel Desktop and The Weather Channel Mobile.

The Weather Channel reaches more than 38 million unique users online each month and is the most popular source of online weather, news and information, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

The free Weather Channel iPhone application includes enhanced functionality such as in-motion weather maps, metro traffic cameras and a snapshot of weather conditions for saved locations.

The No. 1 request from TWC consumers was for map animation, and in response to that feedback, The Weather Channel Interactive now includes animation of the radar and cloud layers on the already fully customizable maps.

Consumers can now view traffic cameras for local roads and highways (for supported markets), larger forecast windows and a snapshot of weather conditions for favorite locations, with multiple graphical enhancements throughout.

The Weather Channel has also made it easier for customers to edit, delete and nickname their saved locations.

The Weather Channel Interactive, in partnership with home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc., launched an updated section dedicated to do-it-yourself home improvement projects (see story).

With more than 3 million downloads in the first three months after launch, The Weather Channel for iPhone remains the No. 1 weather application in the Apple App Store.

"As far as content is concerned, we've noticed the increasing reach of the mobile marketplace, increased page views on the mobile Web," Mr. Gump said. "This is a real medium with real reach, and it's not just for early adopters anymore, which is a big topic of conversation.

"The mobile Web is and will continue to be the largest reach play, in our view," he said. "However, there will be a lot of discussion at CTIA about the proliferation of applications and app stores."

The Weather Channel is bullish about the growth of mobile advertising, despite the recession.

"We're certainly seeing mobile advertising come into its own, even in a soft economy," Mr. Gump said. "We're going to be up in ad revenue terms in 2009, and that lets us continue to invest in the mobile platform."