Widgets Taking Over Advertising

There has been growing excitement in the marketing community about using widgets as advertisements. My friend Greg Verdino from Digitas has been preaching the concept of using widgets as a high engagement marketing vehicle for quite some time. Well it looks like it is finally happening.

According to Mashable, Bebo is officially launching advertising widgets. Some might balk at the idea of ad widgets, but would it really be that bad? Online advertising has a bad reputation because it is often annoying. However, if an advertisement is relevant it is simply another bit of content, right?

For instance, Universal Pictures is releasing the film Smokin’ Aces on Jan 26th. This movie has a pretty bad ass cast and promises to be pretty entertaining. As it happens, Universal has created a snaggable movie trailer with Clearspring to promote the movie. Is it that unbelievable that folks might post a trailer widget to their friend’s MySpace comments? Or that movie fanatics would use the trailer for in blog posts they write reviewing the flick?

I think it will take some time for the right models to work themselves out, but with all of the activity mounting this year is promising to shake up the world of online advertising.

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hoomanradfar Written by:

  • Hooman:

    Very cool. How about video content owners splice up their content and offer clips as widgets to their fans.

    For example, why doesn't the NFL and NFL Films offers fans the opportunity to put clips of their favorite highlights on their web pages (MySpace, blogs, websites, etc)?

    Same with movie scenes and TV shows. We saw this w. SNL on YouTube in the beginning.

    Your favorite TV commercials?

    Short form video is perfect for all of us A.D.D. mobile folks. I know that I'd like to have a couple short form widgets on my iPhone.

  • Hooman Radfar

    I think that you are definitely on the right track. Based on our conversations with content owners, I think that is where they are heading. I would check out Pat Coyle's blog (www.patcoyle.net). Pat is the digital marketing guru for the Colts. If you read his blog, I believe that you will see that there are a ton of folks on the same side of the fence as you are. Awesome points, Tim. 🙂

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  • There's a lot going on in this conversation so hopefully I can keep it organized. First things first, the movie trailer widget is absolutely a great idea. Like you said, movie reviewers can include it on their blog posts, friends can make recommendations and post the trailer in the comments, etc.

    As for the iPhone, do we have a clear indication as to whether it will be opened up for third party developers or if Flash will be enabled on Safari? Just adding fuel to the fire 😉

    Pat Coyle and the Colts (and of course Clearspring) definitely get it and let's hope the rest of the NFL follows. It's great to see sports teams and organizations reach out to their fans. Some other NFL widgets if you haven't come across them already. These are from Fox Interactive Media and not necessarily from The NFL.

    FIM / SpringWidgets (http://www.springwidgets.com)
    – NFL Game Trax
    – Scoreboard (NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, CFB, CBK)

    The NHL seems to be leading the major league organizations in this area of games and clips. They have NHL Plays of the week (highlight clips) on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/nhl), complete with embed code, URLs, RSS for distribution and sharing. For complete games you've got NHL on Google Video (http://video.google.com/nhl.html). Unfortunately, these can not be distributed but you can email the link to a friend.

    For those who are adventurous, you can use Google's Search API to bring full length NHL games to your website. For example, there is a simple Google Search API widget on my site that let's you view a few select NHL games by team directly on my site.

    Not to be left out, the NBA is also embracing widgets. They have a player widget (Clearspring) for each of their players displaying various stats, news, image and links.

    2006 ended well with widgets and 2007 looks very interesting to say the least.

  • Hooman Radfar

    Wow – great thoughts, Ming. I think that the iPhone works with dashboard widgets. We are actively exploring that now. As we get more info, I will try to keep everyone posted.

    Pat Coyle, AJ Macht, and the rest of the Colts digital organization are definitely on the cutting edge. They have a ton more up their sleeve so stay tuned. As for the rest of the NFL teams – and other leagues for that matter – I have good reason to believe you will see some stuff from them as well. 🙂

    In particular, keep your eyes peeled for a series of releases from the NBA. They are innovating – fast. Thanks for stopping by!

  • I've long thought Ad Widgets were going to be where it's at when i first saw the amazing Flickr Flash Badge*

    Well trying to pull together a Widget based on this – I saw something yesterday that blew me out of the Water with it's sheer Brilliance & Innovation*

    I wish I would have thought of that!!

    It is so cool!!

    The booBox appears on the Photo in your Blog Post & links to Ads on ie Amazon based on anything in Context – ie: Sunglasses, iPods, Blackberries etc.

    Pure Genius!!

  • Hooman Radfar

    Billy, I tried the link that you left and it took me to a parked page. Is there another place to check this bad boy out? Let me know – thx.

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  • swain

    where there is volume of people, advertising follows. expect advertising on widgets but to succeed for both the marketer and the peeps, it must be more relevant and subtle than any online advertising to date.