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Paramount, DreamWorks animate Shrek campaign with mobile rich media

Viacom subsidiaries Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks used mobile rich media advertising as part of the multichannel campaign to promote the summer blockbuster Shrek Forever After.

Timed to coincide with the film opening on May 21, the Shrek Forever After campaign targeted iPhone on the Yahoo mobile homepage at and the Yahoo Movies mobile portal at from May 20 to May 22. The studios tapped a rich media mobile ad unit that Yahoo recently debuted to boost ticket sales for the movie?s crucial opening weekend.

?We want to push the current boundaries of mobile advertising by showcasing experiences built in HTML5 to deliver ad experiences that are fun and compelling for both users and advertisers,? said Alex Linde, director of mobile advertising at Yahoo, Sunnyvale, CA.

?We understand that the ad experience starts before the click and we?d like to make maximum use of the canvas we have,? he said.

Mediaedge:cia (MEC), a global communications planning and implementation agency, placed the Shrek mobile ad buy with Yahoo.

A new class of mobile display ad
The Yahoo rich media ad unit features animation.

On Yahoo?s mobile homepage, the top of Shrek?s head is visible along the bottom of the iPhone screen.

If a consumer taps on his dome, Shrek pops up to fill the screen, with ?Tickets? and ?Showtimes? icons on his forehead.

Another tap directs the user to a microsite, where they can watch the trailer or buy a ticket for a local theatre via Fandango.

On the Yahoo Movies mobile page, tapping Shrek?s head also causes it to fill the screen, where the user can tap again move to the microsite.

This rich media unit is the first of Yahoo?s new class of interactive mobile display advertisements that leverage HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript with the goal of delivering more engaging experiences for the company?s advertisers and users.

Here is a screengrab of the Shrek ad on Yahoo Movies mobile portal:

Another ad unit was deployed as part of the campaign, an animated banner featuring Shrek and the tagline ?The Final Chapter 3D? and the call-to-action ?Tap to play trailer & get showtimes.?

Mobile display ads generally take the form of static banners across the top and bottom of the screen.

Although behavioral targeting has drastically increased the effectiveness of all display ads, it has been challenging to engage mobile users at the same level as desktop, according to Yahoo.

With advancements in smartphone technology and the next generation of HTML5 browsers, it is now possible to display highly engaging and interactive rich media content on high-end mobile devices.

While there has been a lot of buzz about HTML5, much of the investment has been focused on mobile Web development.

Many mobile sites have been upgraded to feature compelling interactive content for smartphone users.

However, from an advertiser point of view, banner campaigns remain the norm.

Mr. Linde said that Yahoo believes the rich media experience starts before the click and encompasses the transition to an advertiser?s landing page.

This new class of mobile display format is Yahoo?s attempt to bridge the gap between traditional banners and landing pages with creative executions of interactive ads.

These Shrek ads were designed specifically to fit within Yahoo pages to offer the best experience for the user and meet the needs of the advertiser.

Going forward there will be more ads that are tailored to the way people use mobile or that take advantage of particular attributes of mobile devices, according to Yahoo.

Mr. Linde said that users like to ?content snack? on mobile and ads that offer video or creative interactivity such as the Shrek rich media can be very successful.

?The target demographic for this particular campaign was the movie-goer in the U.S.,? Mr. Linde said. ?To reach this audience, the campaign ran leading up to and during Shrek?s opening weekend on Yahoo Movies and the Yahoo Mobile homepage.

?As the movie has general appeal, we did not further segment the audience,? he said.