Brands put spin on traditional channels with new tech tools

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Yahoo's Living Ads leverage tactile capabilities of tablets to maximize engagement
Yahoo's Living Ads leverage tactile capabilities of tablets to maximize engagement

Several technology vendors introduced products in October that put fresh twists on display advertising, videos and Web analytics that help marketers use new digital tools to enhance traditional marketing. 

"People engage differently on each channel," says Jeff Rubenstein, senior social media manager at Sony Computer Entertainment America. Sony's PlayStation brand recently implemented Facebook's new Page Insights analytics tool to understand how consumers interact with content on its Facebook page. The tool gives brands the ability to measure fan reach and other metrics.

Characterizing the tool as "almost like a 'buzz barometer,'" Elisabeth Diana, manager of corporate communications at Facebook, said its rollout in October was part of its goal to "show brands how they can emphasize their pages beyond amassing fans."

Rubenstein said Sony has already gleaned insights from the tool, including the need to phrase messages differently on Facebook than on Twitter.

Creating engagement using video is the core concept of Yahoo's Living Ads, the search company's new tablet advertising product. Living Ads leverages tactile 
capabilities of tablets to create video-driven display ads. Living Ads, which Paul Cushman, senior director of mobile sales strategy at Yahoo, said will launch this fall, also tracks such metrics as time spent interacting 
with the ad. 

Cushman told Direct Marketing News that Living Ads is the solution to a problem with traditional marketing channels that typically offer a "monologue" that enables brands to start conversations but doesn't allow them to "hear the feedback." 

Cushman says Yahoo has only one brand signed up for the Living Ads tool. 

Much like Yahoo's Living Ads product seeks to reinvent video ads, Google's new Circulars product places this traditional direct marketing form into the digital space. Circulars will let consumers receive customized page results based on product queries and geography. 

Macy's is currently working with Google to test Circulars. Although the retailer also works with ShopLocal to distribute online circulars, Jennifer Kasper, group VP of digital media and multicultural marketing, says Macy's is eager to work with Google to "see how our customers respond." 

In August, Google and Macy's also partnered on Google Catalogs, an iPad app.

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