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AOL Expands Premium Offerings; Introduces Road Devil Interstitial for Mobile

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AOL Inc. (AOL) today unveiled the latest addition to its Devil Ad Suite of premium formats, the Road Devil Interstitial for Mobile (TM). With this announcement, AOL expands its offerings to deliver unprecedented reach and scale of both data-driven premium formats and access to premium inventory across every screen. Additionally, this fall, AOL will expand its premium programmatic offerings with non-reserved inventory access via the Premium Formats Network.

AOL’s Commitment to Premium

AOL continues to reinforce its commitment to helping advertisers and publishers improve the engagement levels and performance of cross-screen campaigns. As consumer consumption and online habits evolve, marketers must leverage a new combination of tools to drive results including data, formats, and top quality inventory. AOL most recently introduced a new mobile native ad unit, announced the new Native Anywhere suite of solutions that activates branded content in a bold new way, starting with the Sponsored Module and unveiled its first “Live” ad unit. AOL has been a leader in premium formats since the launch of its Devil ad unit in 2010, focused on addressing the growing industry demand for richer, higher impact and more engaging experiences for brands, and custom implementations that deliver greater yield for publishers.

AOL’s premium solutions deliver:

  • IMPRESSIVE SCALE: Access to top quality, brand-safe publishers with reach
    • AOL Brands: more than 36 top brands in each category, reaching more than 170M+ monthly unique visitors across desktop and mobile*
    • Private Marketplaces: enables advertisers and publishers to create unique RTB environments, streamlining the process for buying and selling premium inventory at scale
    • Premium Formats Network: more than 450 brand safe premium publishers, reaching more than 160M+ monthly unique visitors** across more than 17 content aligned custom verticals
  • SMART DATA & TECHNOLOGY: Advanced platforms that automate decisions and identify the best audience segments – combining customer’s data, with AOL data and third-party data to drive precise targeting, dynamic creative optimization, and scalable audiences
  • FORMATS: cross screen, in-context, data-powered native, video and mobile formats and premium content-like experiences

“As it gets harder to achieve true consumer engagement and deepen consumer relationships, brands need more than just a format,” said Bob Lord, CEO, AOL Platforms. “Today, premium format campaigns need to be data-driven, creatively flexible, scalable across quality inventory and capable of being bought and measured programmatically.”

“AOL has been a great partner to the IAB in the innovation of premium solutions, driving creative and engaging ad experiences for digital advertisers,” said Peter Minnium, Head of Brand Initiatives, IAB. “The Road Devil Interstitial for Mobile, an elegant version of the IAB Full Page Flex Rising Star, is well suited to meet the needs of today’s most innovative brands.”

Havas Media continues to raise the bar for their client, Dish Network by finding opportunities to integrate premium formats with native advertising. Danny Huynh, SVP at Havas Media said, “By marrying together engaging creative with premium dynamic native placements, the Devil 300×1050 units consistently exceed benchmarks for Interaction Rate, Average Interaction Time and Video Completion rate on AOL, while increasing lifts in brand searches. We (Havas Media & DISH) are always exploring new ways to build an integrated brand over time and sales over night.”

Premium Formats Network Delivers Massive Scale

The premium solutions are available on AOL’s Owned and Operated properties such as the Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and AOL.com, and through the Premium Formats Network, extended to more than 450 brand-safe premium publishers including Reuters, Billboard, Martha Stewart, Fast Company and hundreds of others. In addition, the premium solutions can run on more than 17 contextual custom channels, including Style & Beauty, Travel, Food, Entertainment, Parenting, Business & Finance, Men’s Lifestyle and more.

Additionally, this fall, AOL will expand its premium programmatic offerings with access to non-reserved inventory via the Premium Formats Network. Marketers will be able to scale and target their customers with high-impact, engaging, data-powered premium ad experiences, along-side high quality inventory.

Mobile Innovation

Road Devil Interstitial for mobile addresses a growing demand for engaging mobile formats as consumer consumption and conversion rates on mobile devices continues to grow. With the full page flex capabilities, user-initiated with Road Devil, and now auto-expanded Road Devil Interstitial, these formats give marketers a full screen immersive experience and tout rich, content capabilities and significantly higher performance than standard mobile banner ads.

Recent Premium Milestones

  • In January of this year, AOL launched its premium formats suite on programmatic reserve inventory on AdLearn Open Platform (AOP), its programmatic platform for display and mobile.
  • AOL has continued to expand on its custom category solutions across CPG, Entertainment, Finance, Health, Retail, Tech/Telco, Travel, Autos and Lifestyle.
  • AOL recently launched its first “Live” campaign with GM/OnStar where they “unboxed” a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu equipped with OnStar 4G LTE. During the event, the host used the vehicle’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot to make video calls across the country. See a replay of the event here.

Metrics across AOL’s premium formats on desktop shows an average ITR of 7.62 percent, an average interaction time spent on the ad of 12 seconds, and an average video completion rate of 42.20 percent.*** And early beta metrics on the new Road Devil Interstitial ads have shown an average ITR of 1.93 percent, an expansion rate of 1.9 percent, and an average video completion rate of 23.2 percent.***

AOL’s premium format suite on desktop includes: IAB Rising Star award-winning formats Devil/Portrait, Billboard and Pushdown, in addition to Halo, Loft and Wallpaper; extended to cross screen through mobile with full-page flex Road Devil and Road Devil Interstitial.

About AOL

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.

* Mobile Metrix and Key Measures Multi-Platform, ComScore July 2014

** Unduplicated Audience across Run of Premium Formats Network, ComScore July 2014

*** AOL Internal Data

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