Coke, P&G Test MySpace 'In-Stream' Ads


MySpace has quietly begun testing a new "In-Stream" ad unit, an ad that appears directly within a user’s personal "stream" of friend activities and status updates.

The new placement debuted on Feb. 10, with Coke offering fans a free download of the Selena Gomez song "Naturally." Later that week, Procter & Gamble used the In-Stream ad to offer samples to women of  Scope Outlast mouthwash and a free Crest Extra White Plus Scope Outlast Toothpaste.

The new ad tactic, which is designed to harness the share-with-your-friends, viral nature of the site, should serve as a good barometer for MySpace’s new positioning as a "discovery" engine. That new focus was explained in detail late Tuesday (Feb. 22) at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Annual Meeting during a panel session headlined by MySpace’s new co-president Jason Hirschhorn and chief revenue officer Nada Stirratt.

Originally that session was to include former CEO Owen Van Natta, who was ousted on Feb. 10. Hirshhorn was matter of fact when asked about Van Natta’s dismissal, saying that the exec was simply not moving fast enough.

But Hirshhorn and Stirratt took pains to assure the IAB crowd that MySpace isn’t dumping the strategy that Van Natta and company have laid out over the past year. They see the site as a place for entertainment fans to gather to interact not only with friends, but other passionate fans. And those groups of fans will help facilitate discovery of new bands, shows, content, or in the case of the new in-stream ads—advertisers’ messages.

According to Stirratt, when you “craft an ad that goes between people…It becomes an annuity.”

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