Saying that they want to set benchmarks that will validate
a "media-rich" online-advertising segment, @Home Network and Intel Corp. landed
seven large, mainstream advertisers for a battery of market research.
The two firms are expected to detail the project -- which
includes big-name advertisers Toys R Us, AT&T Corp., Johnson & Johnson, First USA,
Levi Strauss & Co., BankAmerica Corp. and Intel -- this week.
Susan Bratton, director of advertising for @Home, said last
week, "Everyone is trying to understand the value of Internet advertising, and we
intend to prove that by going beyond banner ads and interstitials, we outperform even
traditional media types.
"Our supposition, and what we intend to prove, is that
rich media ads, delivered over broadband to cable-modem customers, are more effective and
have more impact over a longer period of time -- they're stickier," Bratton
To do that, @Home and Intel collaborated on a weighty
research project that starts later this month. Each of the advertisers ponied up $80,000
to participate, Bratton said, noting, "Intel underwrote some of that."
Specifically, @Home's creative department developed
three different types of media-rich ads for each of the seven advertisers, including video
clips, games and "other techniques that harness the broadband capabilities of our
Bratton said the seven advertisers were selected because of
their wide ranging product portfolio, which runs the gamut from Johnson &
Johnson's Tylenol-brand allergy/sinus medication, to Levi's Dockers-brand
clothes, to the Intel Pentium II processing chip.
"We wanted a really diverse mix," Bratton said,
"so that when we release the test results, there won't be any, 'Well,
that's fine for clothing, but what about finance?'"
Bratton said AT&T signed on for long-distance; First
USA for bank cards; BankAmerica for online banking and Toys R Us for, "well,
Using methods favored by traditional advertising-tracking
companies, @Home will conduct online polls over a variety of time frames to check the
efficacy of the ads for consumer recall, brand-linked recall, purchase intent and like or
dislike of the advertising model, Bratton said.
The research is critical not just for @Home, but for the
industry, as well, she said.
"It's not really all that great if you tell
advertisers, 'Oh, our network is really rich and, therefore, more effective,'
because they respond with, 'Great: How much more effective?'" she added.
@Home intends to have answers to that question by around
November, Bratton said.