So-called "wallpaper ads" are nothing new on sports sites. But a new ESPN.com homepage ad set to start running after the NCAA men's basketball tournament field is set is meant to be a bit more dynamic, by pulling in real-time information meant to lure visitors to sign up for the site's "Tournament Challenge" competition.
Starting midnight Sunday, the right side of the ad will continually display fresh tallies for one of two things: the most popular Tournament Challenge picks in the NCAA tournament's four regions or the number of entrants in various ESPN "talent" groups, where consumers can try to beat the brackets of ESPN analysts. By displaying the most popular Sweet 16 picks, the ads may help get people who don't know a great deal about the tournament to sign up.
One Tournament Challenge entrant will win a $10,000 gift card.
Tournament Challenge sponsors Allstate, Acura and Taco Bell are also promoted in the homepage ad, which is part of ESPN's "Choose Wisely" campaign. The ad was developed for ESPN by RED Interactive Agency.