Though RTB increases click-rates, it is limited in scope. Targeting achieves high click-rates by limiting the display of ads to those viewers whose interests match and are likely to click. Targeting algorithms avoid displaying ads to non-clickers because they will not click and thereby they will reduce click-rates. Therefore non-clicker inventory is undervalued — a serious limitation when the majority of ad-inventory (84%) is non-clicker.
Relona Converts Non-Clickers
Relona's banner (shown on the right) uses an alternative call-to-action. Instead of asking viewers to click, the banner asks viewers to scroll-right. Relona's tests show that asking viewers to scroll increases response by 2 to 3 times.
When a user scrolls, the entire landing page is displayed on the right. To return to the main content, the user can scroll back to the left.
The advertisement is the only thing on the page that asks the user to scroll and there is nothing outside the advertisement that prompts the user to scroll-right. The landing-page remains out of sight beyond the right-edge of the browser until the user scrolls. A scroll-right gesture represents a deliberate response by the user to the advertisement's message.
4x-6x Higher Response Rate
The click-free advertisement shown above-right was run on the popular travel website nativeplanet.com and had a response rate of 1.84%. A similar video ad that asked users to click had a response rate of only 0.41%. Without the benefit of Relona's video technology, the click-rate for a travel banner was 0.14%.
Relona's click-free technology by itself delivers a 2x-3x higher response rate. When Relona's click-free ads are combined with Relona's video technology (see next section below), the response rate increases by 4x-6x.
Click-free technology increases the value of all ad-inventory. Since it is not limited to the 16% of clickers, it builds value from the non-clicker audience (84%) that RTB has ignored. It extends the ad-campaign's reach to include the 84% of non-clickers that were hitherto unreachable.
Standard Ad-Tag. No Website Changes. Compatible with Ad-Servers.
Pages that contain these ads appear exactly the same as before. The landing-page is not visible until the user scrolls. The landing-page is loaded only after the user scrolls.
10 seconds after a banner advertisement loads on a user's web-page, the user scrolls down, browses to a different page, changes window, or changes tab, — and then the banner is gone! These interruptions make it impractical to run brand ads in banners.
Relona Makes it Possible to Communicate Brand Messages Through Banners
Relona's advertisements run for 30-60 seconds and are not interrupted when the user changes page, tab, window, or scrolls. The following sections explain how this is done.
1. PREVENTING INTERRUPTIONS WHEN BROWSING FROM ONE PAGE TO ANOTHER
When a user changes page, tab, or window, the advertisement (shown on the left of this paragraph) continues on the new page from exactly where it left off on the previous page. That is, the video ad continues to play without interruption as the user browses to different pages. So every user will see the entire advertisement from beginning to end.
Click the button below to open the demo page. The demo is based on a travel website. On the demo site you will be able to navigate to other pages using a menu-bar.
The advertisement will continue on the new page from where it left off on the previous page. That is, the video will play without any interruption as you change pages, windows, and tabs. Try using the BACK and FORWARD buttons on the browser as you navigate between pages on the demo site. Whatever you do, as long as you remain on the demo site, the advertisement will continue without interruption.
If you minimize the browser window, browse to a different website, or open a different application, the advertisement will pause and wait until you return. (The pause is for a maximum of one day. After that the advertisement assumes that you will have forgotten the context of the video and it will restart from the beginning when you return).
2. PREVENTING INTERRUPTIONS WHEN SCROLLING DOWN
When a user scrolls down the web-page, the banner ad will move up to the top of the browser window and then disappear off the top of the window. A user might spend 10 minutes on a long page, yet the ad might be visible only for the first few seconds until the user scrolls down. One way to solve this problem is to use a "slider" — an ad that floats in the same location within the window regardless of how the user scrolls. Unfortunately, floating ad-units cannot be used when the right-column is crowded with other content.
The 300x250 ad shown on this page (see above-left) uses an alternative approach that is compatible with crowded pages. When you scroll down a web-page, the advertisement will move to the top and out of the browser-window. After the ad disappears off the top of the browser window, the advertisement jumps to a new location on the page immediately below the browser window. See the illustration below:
Viewers do not perceive the ad moving. It appears as though there are multiple ad-units on the page, though in reality there is only one! The ad does not disturb or obscure any content that already exists in the right-column. From a user's point of view, this looks like a "takeover" or "roadblock".
Scroll up until the advertisement near the top of this page is visible within this browser window. Then scroll down slowly until the end of the page. There is only one 300x250 ad on this page, but you will see that advertisement three times as you scroll down.
There will be short periods of time when the ad is not visible because it is outside the browser window. The advertisement is automatically paused when it is not visible, and the ad automatically resumes when it comes back into view. (Demo: Scroll this page slowly and you will see the advertisement on the left of this paragraph pause when it reaches the edge of the browser window.)
3. PREVENTING INTERRUPTIONS CAUSED BY NETWORK DELAYS
Like on television, advertisements on the web are more effective with video. Product benefits demonstrated through full-motion video engages viewers better than still-images or animations. As David Ogilvy says "For products which lend themselves to selling by demonstration ... [video] is the most powerful advertising medium ever invented." On television, there is no bandwidth constraint, so all ads use full-motion video. But on the internet some viewers will be connected through slow networks. Viewers on slow networks have a poor experience with online video ads. LOADINGThe ad might pause with a "LOADING . . . PLEASE WAIT" spinning wheel until the stream is buffered. The user might browse away from the page before the ad begins to play. Or worse, after getting the user's attention, the video might halt mid-stream. Because of these problems, video is considered impractical for mainstream advertising.
Relona's advertisement solves these problems. When the ad loads over a slow network, it is initially displayed as an animation. If the user's network is fast enough, the animation will switch-over to full-motion video. The animation is synchronized frame-for-frame with the video and it communicates exactly the same message as the video. If the network is too slow, it will continue as an animation. The user will never have to wait for the ad to load. The video will never halt mid-stream. With this technology there is no longer any reason to forgo video in your ads. Viewers on a slow network will see an animated ad while those on a fast network will see full-motion video.
Clear your browser's cache and reload this page on a slow network. You will see the ad play as an animation for a few seconds. After some time (depending on the speed of your network) the ad will switch-over to video. The switch-over is seamless and the ad is never interrupted.
Re-targeted banner ads remind viewers about products they had earlier considered for purchase. But merely reminding viewers is effective only for low-value impulse purchases. For high-value products, the viewer needs to be given more information and persuaded to re-engage with the brand. Relona's video technology can persuade viewers across multiple views of a banner over different websites. Relona's ads can follow viewers across different domains, are compatible with IAB's SafeFrame technology, and are suitable for use in re-targeting systems.
Skipped In-Stream Videos
If users are given the option to skip an in-stream ad, then most users skip the ad. On the other hand, users dislike unskippable in-stream ads that are longer than 15 seconds. This presents a problem for brand advertisers — To communicate a complex message, the ad has to be long, but if the ad is long, it doesn't reach most users.
Relona's technology solves this problem. When an instream-ad is skipped, it jumps over to the right-column and continues to play as an in-banner-video from the point it was skipped.
Multi-Channel Compression for Crisp Text and Videos
Standard video compression algorithms make text and diagrams look fuzzy. The moving pictures might look great, but if the captions and the call-to-action look fuzzy, the ad will not perform well.
Relona's ad-format uses different compression algorithms for the text captions and a different algorithm for the video. So both text and pictures always look great.
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Relona was founded by M.Sundharam and K.Ramanathan.
Sundharam is an experienced business strategist. She has successfully helped startup companies as well as managed large teams of over 300 people in different industries including software and manufacturing. She has an MBA from Bharathiar University, India.
Ramanathan is a graduate of IIT at Madras and he completed his graduate program at the University of Massachusetts which had one of the earliest research groups in Information Retrieval and Web-Search. Most recently he managed a group developing robot-control software at Transform Pharmaceuticals and helped design innovations that persuaded Johnson and Johnson to acquire them for $230 million.
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