Meebo launches new ads with 30-second guarantee

July 1, 2009

Convincing marketers to try a new type of Internet ad format isn’t easy, especially during a time when ad budgets are getting cut.

But Meebo has come up with a novel way to entice advertisers to take the plunge: the company will guarantee that Web surfers spend at least 30 seconds interacting with ads that run in its new advertising units.

The new ads are integrated within the Meebo real time communications service, which provides instant messaging and link-sharing capabilities on more than 40 Web sites including myYearbook, CafeMom and Current TV.

Meebo said up to 85 Web sites have signed up to go live with the service.

At first glance, Meebo’s new ads don’t look like that big of a deal – the ad is essentially a small icon within the Meebo toolbar that’s parked at the bottom of a partner site’s Web page. But a click on the icon expands into an “overlay” of up to 900×400 pixels, which can feature rich media, such as video and games.

Meebo Chief Operating Officer Martin Green says that user engagement with the new ads is much better than with traditional online display ads, because viewers would need to click on the tab to call up the ad.

“We have done this in testing and in the last couple of months we get on average over a minute of time spent, which is a massive amount of time with advertisers’ content,” said Green. “Part of the reason is you only get people who are interested in checking it out.”

Meebo has won over at least two brand heavyweights. AT&T and Toyota are both signed on to run Meebo ads.

What happens if an advertiser gets less than 30 seconds “air time”? Meebo’s Green says the company will make up the time by running a proportional amount of ads to cover the discrepancy.


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But “you only get people who are interested in checking it out” isn’t a USP for this service!Already, anyone who isn’t interested in seeing Internet ads will be running an ad blocker, so this claim doesn’t offer anything new at all. The “minute of interaction” will presumably be more down to a novel ad design than anything else, and will therefore wear off rapidly.

Posted by Ian Kemmish | Report as abusive

Looks very promising, like a more sophisticated Google ad. If this takes off Meebo could be sitting on gold as big G is always on the look out for interesting concepts.