AOL UK LAUNCHES NEW AWARD-WINNING PROJECT DEVIL PREMIUM AD FORMAT WITH RIM AND M&S

AOL UK LAUNCHES NEW AWARD-WINNING PROJECT DEVIL PREMIUM AD FORMAT WITH RIM AND M&S
New display format brings added interactivity and creative opportunities

25th March 2011, London: AOL UK announced today the launch of its new Project Devil display advertising format, with brand leaders RIM, promoting their new BlackBerry TorchTM and M&S, advertising their summer fashion range. The new format is live on AOL's celebrity channel Eleven (www.celebrity.aol.co.uk) from today.

The Project Devil unit offers increased engagement through a large creative canvas, divided into three panels, which allow advertisers to customise the content and functionality within one interface. The wide-ranging functionality of each panel includes media streams and applications such as video, slideshows, mapping, 3-D rotation, quizzes, polls, text messaging and much more. Every ad is fully interactive, eliminating the need for consumers to navigate away from the page to explore its features.

With only one ad per page, the advertiser is afforded 100% share of voice and all distractions and clutter are eliminated. The ad also improves the aesthetic quality and interactivity in ways that further enhance the consumer experience, and ultimately promotes beautiful, content-driven brand advertising across the Web.

Project Devil extends AOL's current suite of advertising products, which includes ad publishing network, advertising.com and newly acquired video distribution business, goviral. Through these services, AOL is providing brands with a range of creative and innovative advertising solutions wrapped around rich content experiences.

Last month, Project Devil was the recipient of the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) "Rising Stars" Award in the US, introducing new creative standard ad units that will help transform brand marketing on the Web*.

"Traditional online display advertising has not progressed a great deal in a decade," said Rob Blake, VP Advertising, AOL Europe. "Project Devil addresses the shortcomings of traditional display and brings a new, high impact and interactive format to advertisers, allowing them to deliver engaging digital marketing experiences across the Web.

"Project Devil treats advertising as content, giving brands the chance to build creative that complements the editorial on the page, instead of competing with it, something which is central to AOL's strategy," he said.

In a deal lead by Starcom Mediavest, Project Devil partner RIM launched its campaign around the new BlackBerry TorchTM. The bespoke panels feature an interactive product mini-site, an in-ad video component with music producer Diplo, and an invitation to users to join Blackberry on Facebook and Twitter.

John Baylon, Digital Trading Director, Starcom Mediavest commented; "The display landscape hasn't changed much in the past 10 years and we believe that Project Devil is the beginning of an exciting new era for the online advertising industry. Creativity, interactivity and advertisements that 'wow' are imperative to engaging our consumers online. We couldn't turn down this unique opportunity to work alongside a trusted brand like AOL to engage with our customers in a new way."

M&S has partnered directly with AOL to drive awareness of its latest fashion TV advertising campaign. Shot in Miami, the summer fashion campaign stars the M&S girls, Twiggy, Lisa Snowdon, VV Brown, Dannii Minogue and Ana Beatriz Barros. The Project Devil format invites users to view a fashion slide show within the ad unit, watch a behind the scenes video of the shoot in Miami and avail of an online discount.

"With an increase in focus on quality premium content on the Internet it's only right that advertising should advance and work to complement it, offering just as much engagement and interactivity as the content itself," said Nicky Fouhy, CRM Online Marketing Manager. "We're excited to be working with AOL on rolling-out this wonderful new format in the UK."

Project Devil was developed in partnership with a Creative Consortium, a group of top innovators from leading digital and creative agencies across the industry, guided by the shared desire to create a new aesthetic standard for online advertising. AOL incorporated the Consortium's feedback and ideas into the design and development of Project Devil, which will continue to evolve as a new system for display advertising.

The new format was introduced in the US in September 2010.

Following its introduction on Eleven (www.celebrity.aol.co.uk), the Project Devil format will be rolled out across the AOL Network throughout the second quarter of 2011.

For more information, please contact:

Chris McCafferty chris@kaper.uk.com 020 7096 6695 / 07801 109654

Notes to Editors
Early US campaign results have shown engagement levels on Project Devil ads are significantly higher than that of industry-standard rich-media banners: consumers spend an average of 27 seconds more with a Devil ad (268%) lift; they also play 18 seconds more video (228%).**
* The actual IAB format will be known as IAB Portrait.
** "Analytics Benchmark Report, Q1 thru Q3 2010", Unicast (Jan. 2011)

About AOL
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a leading global Web services company with an extensive suite of brands and offerings and a substantial worldwide audience. AOL's business spans online content, products and services that the company offers to consumers, publishers and advertisers. AOL is focused on attracting and engaging consumers and providing valuable online advertising services on both AOL's owned and operated properties and third-party websites. In addition, AOL operates one of the largest Internet subscription access services in the United States, which serves as a valuable distribution channel for AOL's consumer offerings.

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