When I started at IAC, the go-to custom solution was the microsite, but something was wrong with that model. You build a microsite for an advertiser, but no one knows the site exists. You try to drive user-traffic to the site with banners, but always end up having to use free media inventory to optimize traffic.
The “banner gadget” solved all the above problems by taking the functionality of a microsite and putting it into a banner—this way functionality was placed directly in front of the user from the start.
Michael also developed an entirely new product which could be customized to best meet the needs of the client. This was a popular and versatile product which was sold to a number of advertisers across various verticals.
Laurie King, Custom Solutions Manager, IAC Advertising
How well did this solution work? Very well, with engagement rates of over 15%, directly contributing to closing more than $2.25 million in advertising sales, plus winning nine creative awards, including an OMMA. Below are just two examples of the banner gadget advertising product.
Bacardi Mojito Banner Gadget
This OMMA award-winning banner gadget delivered a dynamic, fully integrated, cross-site experience to users from within an ad unit. When users engaged with content in one of the Evite (host a mojito party) or Citysearch (find the best mojito in your area) tabs, they were sent to those sites, where the landing page was road-blocked with Bacardi Mojito branding. On Evite, users could create Bacardi branded invitations to invite friends to their party, further spreading the word about the original Bacardi Mojito.
Visa Go! Date Location Banner Gadget
Using Citysearch listings, Visa sponsored a custom tool that enabled users to find the perfect date spot by selecting their city and the type of food or location they wanted for their date (takeout, outdoor dining, martini bar, etc). Once preferences were selected, the gadget displayed the suggested location with name and address. In addition, users could click on a link within the gadget to go to Citysearch for more ideas. This banner gadget ran on Match.com and was both a Midas Awards winner and Omma finalist.
[Michael’s] greatest asset is his ability to quickly synthesize multiple types of information or criteria (marketing need, technological possibilities, user experience, brand integrity, critical metrics, design) and deliver a concept that satisfies all stakeholders in a project. And his grasp of the underlying technologies that make these concepts possible has always been humbling for me.
Noelle Cleary, Vice President, Marketing and Sales Development, IAC Advertising