Excite@Home Adds Larger Banners as Part of Customized Services

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On the heels of recent announcements that CNET and New York Times Digital will offer larger banner ad units, Excite@Home said it is incorporating the new units into its targeting and tracking services and is packaging them into custom programs for clients.

In addition to using the new banner ad standards adopted by the Internet Advertising Bureau, the company said it also is offering custom-designed banners using rich media such as Enliven, Superstitials from Unicast and Flash from Macromedia.

The services are available now.

"Similar to the automotive industry practice of placing the best parts of conceptual cars into production models, marketers can apply tomorrow's online capabilities today by working with Excite@Home," said Susan Bratton, Excite@Home's senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Bratton said Excite@Home is taking a broadband approach to advertising on its network of Web sites, which include Webshots and BlueMountain Arts.

She also said that using technology from its MatchLogic subsidiary, particularly the ExciteExact technology, Excite@Home can help improve message relevancy by targeting ads based on keyword, geography, demographics, behavior, or a combination of connect and multiple profile targets.

Excite@Home said it ties its marketing services together with ad targeting and tracking services, packaged into custom programs for advertisers. The company said it allows marketers to scale campaigns across both its broadband and open-Web user base. It also can create campaigns that incorporate online and offline marketing activities.

Bratton said the company has created new ad models that offer branding and traffic-driving elements. For example, on Webshots.com, which features downloadable desktop pictures and screensavers, Excite@Home offers the Webshots Sponsor Gallery, essentially a sponsored Web page.

One of the first sponsors is Dove, the division of Lever Brothers that manufactures skin-care products. The company underwrites the Dove Inspirations page, which features nature photos that can be downloaded.

"We guarantee a certain number of impressions," Bratton said. "The idea is that we're trying to drive a certain number of registrations to their page. We consider it an ad product."

The page also has a box that users can click on to sign up for the Dove e-mail newsletter.

Bratton said the average response rate on the Dove Inspirations site is about six times greater than traditional rates.

Other sponsors include BMW automobiles and NextMonet.com, an online art retailer.

Along with these sponsored programs, Excite@Home offers "Giftification," a program featuring integrated marketing packages for retailers that combine targeted rich media ad units and content.

It also offers Home of the Future, a program that features product placements in real and virtual settings, broadband advertising and consumer research. Advertisers can place their products in a New York City loft designed to showcase the technology of the networked home and on a Home of the Future Web site. Research is offered in conjunction with Harris Interactive.

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