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AOL's Project Devil and Pictela Pushdown Premium Ad Formats Named IAB "Rising Stars"

Feb 28, 2011

AOL's Project Devil and Pictela Pushdown Premium Ad Formats Named IAB "Rising Stars"

Another Step Forward in AOL's Strategy to Revolutionize Display Advertising

"Project Devil and Pictela are the building blocks of the aesthetic revolution on the Internet. The response from top brands has been nothing short of ecstatic, and we're thrilled the IAB has recognized the enormous potential of these formats to provide engaging digital marketing experiences all across the Web," said Jeff Levick, AOL's President of Global Advertising and Strategy. "Premium display advertising that beautifies the Web and engages consumers is core to AOL's strategy to create the highest-quality content providing the best online experiences for users, publishers and brands."

"Digital brand advertising is about a race to the top," Levick added. "It's about high- value premium quality and creativity, all of which create a vastly better experience for everyone on the Web. Getting the IAB seal of approval accelerates our push forward with our vision in reimagining the relationship between online advertising, creativity and content."

Project Devil and Pictela's Pushdown display ad formats are already live in the marketplace – to extraordinary excitement among brand marketers, publishers and consumers. The formats were selected from among three dozen submissions by an IAB panel of agency creative directors, media executives and ad operations' specialists for their potential to drive brand equity at scale.

The Project Devil and Pictela platforms are fully interactive on the page, eliminating the need for consumers to navigate away from a website. Launched in September 2010 on AOL's and, Project Devil has already been rolled out across 40 AOL properties on an accelerated timeline driven by advertiser demand. When comparing its interactive, multifunctional ad space to standard ad formats, 69% of consumers said the Devil ad was visually more appealing and made them "more interested in the brand."* Additionally, early 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%).**

Launched in 2009, the Pictela platform delivers video, photos and applications in real time across the Web in a range of formats, most of which already meet IAB and Online Publishers Association standards. Acquired by AOL in December 2010, Pictela is certified by more than 30 of the world's leading publishers, and its award-winning Pushdown unit delivers on average a 440% increase in consumer interactions and a 338% increase in interaction time.***

"Pictela Pushdown and Devil demonstrate beyond doubt that advertisers, agencies and consumers respond to beautiful, engaging experiences on the Web," said Greg Rogers, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pictela. "We're thrilled that a panel of some of the greatest thinkers in our industry has recognized that the future of digital advertising is not disruption or distraction but allowing creativity to flourish."

The IAB Rising Stars will now be evaluated in the marketplace based on consumer and business adoption, and new IAB standard ad units will be named by the end of the year.

"The IAB shares AOL and Pictela's goal of enabling brands and their agencies to realize the enormous creative potential of the Web, still vastly untapped. We're immensely grateful that these companies are sharing their successful formats with the entire ecosystem," said Peter Minnium, Consulting Director for the IAB and leader of the IAB's 'Reimagining Interactive Advertising' initiative.

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.

About Pictela

Pictela, Inc. provides a global platform for distributing high definition brand content and advertising. Pictela units support videos, photos, text and applications. Since its formation 2009, Pictela has experienced rapid growth with clients across Retail, CPG, Automotive, Travel and Entertainment. Pictela technology has been certified by premium publishers and approved by top social networks. Pictela was acquired by AOL December 2010.

* "Project Devil Quantitative Research Study," comScore ARS, n=1500

** "Analytics Benchmark Report, Q1 thru Q3 2010", Unicast (Jan. 2011)

*** "2009 Year-in-Review Benchmarks" by DoubleClick

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Caroline Campbell, 404-444-7970