HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Ken Doctor: Why The New York Times hired Kinsey Wilson
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Nov. 15, 2011, 11:30 a.m.

The New York Times runs a cross-platform interactive ad campaign in HTML5

With Coke’s “Arctic Home” campaign, the paper finds a new way to reach an increasingly distributed audience.

Today, for the first time, The New York Times is featuring a single HTML5 interactive ad campaign across its digital platforms. Coca-Cola is running the ads — an extension of its Arctic Home campaign and its long use of polar bears this time of year — not only on NYTimes.com, but also on the Times’ iPhone and iPod Touch apps, and on the iPad’s Safari browser. And the ads are consistent (though not identical) across those platforms.

That’s not a huge deal in the scheme of digital advertising, but it’s noteworthy from the perspective of ad coordination, particularly at large news organizations whose content — and audiences — are increasingly distributed across several different, and differently formatted, digital spaces.

Big brands “grapple a lot with how to deal with messaging across platforms,” notes Denise Warren, the SVP and chief advertising officer of The New York Times Media Group and the general manager of NYTimes.com. A campaign like Coke’s, she told me, which leveraged the skills of the Times’ tech team as well as its ad-sales staff to create message consistency despite platform diversity, tries to tackle that challenge. It tries to offer one-stop-shopping for marketers who want to reach all of a news outlet’s audience, regardless of the tools the members of that audience use to consume their content.

For animated messages, in particular — and we’ll likely see more of those as marketers make their own adaptation to new digital capabilities — that kind of cross-platform functionality will likely involve even more collaboration between advertisers and news organizations. In this case, the Times adapted the creative that Coke provided — taking the Flash ad that Coke had built and translating its animation to multi-platform-friendly HTML5. “I really do think that that’s the kind of stuff that publishers like us need to do,” Warren says, “in order to super-serve our clients in a way that’s meaningful.”

Flash has long been the favored tool for interactive ads on the desktop, but its inability to work on most mobile devices has been a roadblock for greater coordination across platforms. Last week’s announcement that development of Flash for mobile was being shut down has made it more clear than ever that cross-platform integration will happen through HTML5.

Another aspect of serving clients, Warren notes, is having lots of information about how users actually consume the news within different consumption environments. And the Times’ pay meter — which pushes user registration and the connection of print and digital accounts — has been a help in that regard. “What we’re developing with our pay model is a much deeper understanding of our audience across platforms,” Warren notes. Combine user data with tech prowess, and that’s a powerful sales pitch. Using the two, Warren says, “we believe that we’re going to be able to uniquely serve our advertisers’ needs, as a result, in a deeper and richer way.”

POSTED     Nov. 15, 2011, 11:30 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Ken Doctor: Why The New York Times hired Kinsey Wilson
The former chief content officer at NPR will be moving up I-95 to one of the most important digital positions at the Times.
Why Google is taking another shot at helping readers pay for news
Google Contributor is the latest tool the company has designed to help readers pay for what they read online. But its previous experiments in supporting paid content have had limited success.
In Canada, newspapers’ attempts to experiment with ebooks haven’t seen much success
A number of papers across the country started ebook programs in the early part of this decade, repurposing their archives or producing new work. They haven’t been the moneymakers some had hoped.
What to read next
718
tweets
Ken Doctor: The New York Times’ financials show the transition to digital accelerating
The numbers may look flat, but they contain a continuing set of ups and downs. Up next: executing on a year’s worth of launches.
540Here’s some remarkable new data on the power of chat apps like WhatsApp for sharing news stories
At least in certain contexts, WhatsApp is a truly major traffic driver — bigger even than Facebook. Should there be a WhatsApp button on your news site?
502Controlled chaos: As journalism and documentary film converge in digital, what lessons can they share?
Old and new media types from journalism, documentary, and technology backgrounds gathered at MIT to share practices and discuss mutual concerns.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
EveryBlock
Byliner
Investigative Reporting Workshop
Windy Citizen
Mashable
The Daily Voice
Bloomberg Businessweek
The Huffington Post
Knight Foundation
The Seattle Times
Fox News
PBS