For some time, publishers of editorial content have included tags that let readers retweet, Digg or add stories they like to their Facebook page. In the near future, that same functionality is coming to ads.
Federated Media has announced a deal with TweetMeme that will let marketers attach a retweet button to their ads. Meanwhile, Digg, which has run Diggable ads on its homepage since August, is planning to export those ads to other Web properties in 2010, according to Chas Edwards, publisher and chief revenue officer at Digg. AdMob, the mobile ad network currently being acquired by Google, is in the process of adding hooks to video ads that would let users share an ad they like on Facebook or Twitter.
Whether consumers will be up for retweeting ads is an open question. Though the market is clearly heading in that direction, the content of such ads will need to be tweaked. “You can imagine it would make sense,” said David Berkowitz, digital media and online marketing strategist for digital shop 360i. He added that he hadn’t seen anyone tag an ad with a retweet or Facebook button yet.
Kevin Skobac, media supervisor for Draftfcb, said that adding such functionality makes sense. “What we find is people expect nowadays to be able to action on content,” said Skobac. “If it’s a message that resonates, they want to be able to share it in their world.”
Nevertheless, Nick Halstead, CEO and founder of TweetMeme, said that advertisers are excited by the idea of having retweetable ads. But Halstead said that advertising in this format will need to provide consumers with some social currency. “Advertising in social media has to add value to the communication in some way,” he said. Halstead declined to say which advertisers planned to rollout retweetable ads.
The idea of viral advertising, of course, isn’t new, but until now, marketers have depended on consumers to e-mail or cut and paste URLs to spread an ad.
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