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SyFy rich-media ad sees 2,000 click-throughs in one day

A rich-media interactive ad for cable network SyFy garnered more than 2,000 click-throughs on The New York Times' mobile HTML5-based Web site on Tuesday, July 6.

The campaign was promoting SyFy's original series "Warehouse 13" and was the first in-browser unit of its kind compatible with the iPhone and iPad according to Glow Interactive, which designed the ad. The unit achieved a clickthrough rate of 2.92 percent and an interaction rate of 8.62 percent based on 73,000 impressions, per Glow.

?Considering that there are not a whole lot of devices out there ? and this was an effort to get ahead of the curve to figure out the intricacies of making these [in-browser rich-media] ads ? being able to get out there and get this CTR is impressive,? said Mike Molnar, managing partner at Glow Interactive, New York. ?I don?t know many banners that can do that.?

New York-based SyFy produces original cable television programming with an emphasis on genres like science fiction, horror and fantasy. Warehouse 13 is a science fiction show about a warehouse in South Dakota that houses fantastical and mysterious objects.

Glow Interactive is a digital marketing and creative agency with clients such as USA Network, Showtime and The Discovery Channel.

Specifics of the ad unit
When iPhone and iPad users visited The New York Times HTML5 Web site on June 6, a 728x90 pixel interactive banner ad appeared for Warehouse 13.

Here is a screen grab of the banner ad on

By dragging over the graphical handle, users expand the ad into a 728x270 pixel unit.

Here is a screen grab of the expanded ad:

After the ad expands, an interactive wheel appears that the users can pull clockwise or counterclockwise with their fingers to rotate between different sections of content.
The first section includes the trailer for the new season of Warehouse 13, which can be accessed by clicking on the interactive graphic.

The second section is called Character Bios, and includes picture graphics of major characters on the show, which users can click to access information and videos.

The third section, called ?The Series,? includes basic information about the TV show

A logo for Warehouse 13 ? which appears on the left side of the banner in its original form and in the bottom left corner after the ad has expanded ? leads to a mobile-optimized landing page.

A SyFy logo on the right side of the advertisement also links to the landing page.

Here is a screen grab of the Warehouse 13 landing page on the iPad:

The landing page includes more videos, character and show information, as well as photos, recent tweets about the show and episode guides.

Consumers can also use the landing page to sign up for SMS alerts about the show.

The landing page includes Google mobile banner ads, and links to other SyFy applications that consumers can download.

SyFy targeted a young technology-savvy audience and early adopters with the ad.

?When [Glow and SyFy] decided we wanted to do this sort of ad, there were 1 million iPads,? Mr. Molnar said. ?This campaign was not about reach.

?This was about a core focus on creating an ad that lives and breathes in a different way for consumers than any other ad they have seen before,? he said. ?Doing so on a device for early adopters makes the most sense.

?SyFy has a cerebral type of audience that wants the newest and the coolest, so we worked with them to develop an idea that is executable and in line with what we are able to do on this device.?

Long live mobile Web ads
The launch of HTML5 presents the opportunity to integrate videos into mobile advertisements without forcing the user to download any new software or applications.

Some have speculated that this development have a big impact on mobile browsing and applications (see story).

Yahoo has already built its Yahoo Mail and Yahoo News mobile Web sites for the iPhone and iPod touch using HTML5 (see story).

The HTML5 programming language creates an immersive experience and allow for deeper engagement with brands, according to Glow.

While the launch of the iAd network was many advertisers thinking about in-application advertising, Glow says that such an approach is shortsighted, and that mobile Web advertising needs to remain a priority.

?There?s a lot of talk about advertising in the mobile space, and in particular about the iAd network, and Apple wanting to control the first round of ads for quality sake,? said Mike Molnar, managing partner at Glow Interactive, New York. ?At Glow, we have always been about pushing the envelope,? 

?We wanted to prove that in-app advertising is fine if you?re in iAd, but we?re still searching the Web on these devices too,? he said. ?If you go to and you?re still getting static ads, it?s like 1999 all over again, and it doesn?t have to be that way.?

?I believe iAd is going to be very successful, but you cannot discount interactive advertising on the Web for the mobile space.?

For that reason, Glow worked with rich media vendor Eyewonder to develop an ad for SyFy that took full advantage of the capabilities of the iPhone and iPad software and leading edge programming capabilities.

?This ad was built in less than four weeks from concept to completion and launch,? Mr. Molnar said. ?It was not about trying to take it way over the top, but about showing people that there is a new functionality in rich media.

?The key is the idea ? how do you take advantage of what these devices allow you to do,? he said. ?That?s going to be a important in the future.

?People will surf the Web on these devices, and smart publishers will be able to market them accordingly.?

Final Take
Peter Finocchiaro, editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer, New York.