IQ News: Enliven Announces New Features

Excite Home’s ad technology unit, Enliven, will announce new rich media features for its advertising applications today. The innovations, called Speed Select and QuickStart, provide the ability to serve dynamic ad content and access databases in real time, with faster loading and display of ads.
“It’s about control,” said Excite Home vice president of market development Susan Bratton. “Advertisers have a lot more control over the users’ experience.”
Though the enhancements will be announced today, several campaigns using the suped-up Enliven have already launched, including ads from OnSale, Menlo Park, Calif., and Tower Records, Sacramento, Calif.
Compaq will soon launch a campaign that incorporates live chat within banners. The Compaq Better Answers Live Chat ad was designed by DDB Digital, New York, and will run on sites including CNN.com, ABC News.com, ZDNet.com, CNet.com and Excite.com.
Speed Select is a “bandwidth sniffer” that checks a user’s connection speed, hardware and browser. “Right now, advertisers are creating ads for the lowest common denominator,” Bratton said. “But at any time on Home, only a quarter of users are on 28.8.” Speed Select also lets advertisers send different content depending on such things as the user’s geographical location and time of day (based on the IP address).
The company has incorporated the ability to query and update Web databases in two directions, so that banners can include real-time information.
Enliven’s new QuickStart technology sends ads in chunks instead of in streams, so that users see something quickly, with more ad features filling in later. Said Bratton, “No matter what your bandwidth, we want to get an ad up as soon as possible.”
The Redwood City, Calif., company offers tools for interactive multimedia ads, e-commerce, tracking and reporting, and claims it serves 70 percent of the rich media ads on the Web and over broadband.–Susan Kuchinska