The Internet stinks. And its ads are even worse. That is the basic, bold message being delivered by AOL, which unveiled Project Devil, a system that offers advertisers cleaner ad formats than before and more utility like the locations of local auto dealers.
The initiative is meant to cater as an all-in-one marketing funnel in a single location on a page. Developed with creative input from the advertising industry, Project Devil aims to improve the aesthetics, impact and interactivity of online advertising with other content on a page.
“Advertising hasn’t fulfilled its promise online,” Jeff Levick, president of global advertising and strategy at AOL, told News & Tech. “Brand is critical to our growth plan, and to be successful we had to reinvent what advertisers can deliver. We’ve created an ad system that allows marketer to both highlight the product, explain what it is, what problem it solves and how it makes your life better,”
Project Devil offers a single, large ad space with three panels that can be customized with media streams and applications including video, slideshows, mapping, 3-D rotation, quizzes, polls, text messaging and other options. The ads are larger than standard display units, with just one slot offered per web page to help a brand standout. Online marketers can work with roughly the same amount of space they might have if they bought spots in magazines. For consumers navigating the web, the one-per-page units remove the clutter of multiple ads.
Here’s a video demo of Project Devil:
AOL has been touting the project over the past weeks with advertisements in various media, including The Wall Street Journal. According to Levick, AOL has two huge platforms to give Project Devil a boost beyond its own sites: Advertising.com, the company’s mega ad network; and Adtech, its popular ad-serving platform.
To kick off its online ad revolution, AOL has lined up seven big name brands. The first Project Devil partners are General Mills’ Cheerios and Pillsbury Crescents, Lexus, Macy’s, Procter & Gamble’s Olay, Sprint and Unilever’s Suave Professionals.
I have to admit this is a great initiative by AOL to jazz up the advertising space a bit. However, I just don’t think it has a large enough number of advertisers to really make an impact, but I am happy to be proven wrong.
Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.