Weather Channel, Aruba Tourism Team on Mobile Ads

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The Aruba Tourism Authority expects to reach affluent, frequent travelers with interactive ads on The Weather Channel Interactive's Mobile Internet pages.


Though Weather Channel has offered ads on cell phones and other devices for a year or two, it is offering interactive ads for the first time.


Running Feb. 6 to March 6, the text banner ads read, "Aruba. Get one night free." When users click on the ad, they are directed to an interactive information page where they can click on an 800 number that initiates a call to the Aruba Tourism Information Center.


The ads use a new technology from Third Screen Media, Boston, which runs MADX, a mobile ad management and delivery platform.


Aruba Tourism hopes the ads speak to a "sophisticated, affluent traveler, someone who has already traveled to the Caribbean," said Liz Daney, chief media officer at Fitzgerald+CO, Atlanta, the agency that developed the mobile ad campaign for Aruba Tourism.


The campaign also neatly coincides with cold weather and snowstorms in the Northeast, which dumped 26 inches of snow on New York City in early February.


"By aligning the Aruba brand with mobile weather content, we are immediately showcasing the island as a destination, in stark contrast to the dreary, cold weather here in the States in February," Daney said.


Despite the negative press Aruba has received over the Natalee Holloway case, it continues to advertise to U.S. travelers, partly through the ad partnership it has had with The Weather Channel Interactive for the past few years.


Fitzgerald+CO, which will track click-throughs and customer conversion rates from the mobile ad, found that the ad already was garnering click-through rates about 10 times higher than the average banner ad, after running for about a week.


Though Aruba Tourism is running rich media banners across the Web, the mobile campaign is a standalone program that will attract mobile users because "it is something different," Daney said. She also expects positive reaction to the campaign because online travel shoppers are used to interactive advertising.


"There is already an acceptance to look at travel online, so we think there is the same acceptance with mobile," she said.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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