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Jul 15, 2008

AOL Launches New Personal Finance Site, Image Gallery—But The Brand Is Absent

AOL Launches New Personal Finance Site, Image Gallery—But The Brand Is Absent

Despite shifting focus to an ad-supported business and ad network years ago, AOL (NYSE: TWX) can't seem to shake the image of being known as that dial-up ISP. So rather than continue to fight, AOL is finding that it might just be better to erase it, or at least downplay it somewhat. Case in point: two new channels, a personal finance site called WalletPop and a free professional images site, Pixcetera, debuted this morning—both without the AOL brand prominently featured on its site (scroll way down) or in the URL. That said, the sites do have the same look and feel of others and AOL's main page features a link that does connect directly to WalletPop—but the link only says "Money" and doesn't identify the site by name. As AOL continues its site rollout—the company is in the process of creating a new one aimed at younger women for launch later this year—expect the AOL name to be less and less prominent as the portals become less popular in the minds of users. More details on WalletPop announcement is here.

Garcia Media: Learning from online adverts to add "silent ads" to print

Previously thought to be separate from each other, advertising and editorial content are now finding common ground, Garcia Media reported. Newspaper web sites have created "silent ads" that are subtler and seem to blend in better with articles. 

p.pngEssentially, "silent ads" are those that are positioned in the center of summaries, navigational features and briefs columns. In this way, the ads have a better chance of being noticed because these areas tend to have heavier traffic.

These ads usually feature only a brand's logo, without any message or text. On the web, there is a link, whereas in print "it is a matter of recognition", Garcia Media wrote. 

Garcia Media mentioned the best ways to use the "silent ads" are:

-In vertical columns that make use of "finger reading" (e.g. navigational units)
-Between elements, avoiding the very top or bottom
-Using ads smaller than 1.5 inches

Although the ads are popular in Europe and Asia, the US hasn't quite caught up with the trend yet.

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