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Ads Get Personal Relevance on Mass Scale

According to Kagan Research, marketers are salivating at the prospect of placing their advertising messages on a massive scale in a previously untouchable environment -- the personal "conversations" of consumers.

With the Internet, marketing communications can be inserted in social websites like MySpace.com, opinion-oriented blogs, chat rooms and user-generated content sites such as YouTube.com. This is a twist because analog media is built around professionally made content that, while engaging, is not usually very personal.

Is a luxury car ad more valuable presented in a chat room devoted to motor sports, when two consumers exchange car photos, or accompanying an amateur web video about customized cars than as a 30-second commercial in a crime drama TV series? Interactive media executives said in the September 25-26 MIXX Conference during New York City's Advertising Week that achieving personal relevance on a mass scale is revolutionary.

Advertisers agreed. "You have to be there and participate in the conversation as it happens," Jerri DeVard, SVP marketing and brand management at Verizon Communications, told a MIXX seminar. "Personalization is about the efficiency of the ad spend." However, Internet audience measurement and tracking need to improve in order to deliver on the promise of ad personalization.

Regardless, amateur videos posted on websites are so popular with advertisers they say they can't find enough web slots to place their commercial spots. Overall, U.S. Internet advertising jumped 37 percent in the first half of 2006.

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