CNET debuts rich media b-to-b ad unit

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CNET Networks last month introduced a new rich media ad format, CNET Enterprise Launch Unit, designed specifically for b-to-b advertisers. The unit offers a combination of branding and direct response messaging.

The Enterprise Launch Unit is based on Eyeblaster technology and plays over the full page of a site for 10 seconds before dissolving into a 180x150-pixel rectangular unit.

"It really adds high impact and high reach capabilities in a measurable time frame," said Barry Briggs, chief operating officer of CNET Networks.

The Enterprise Launch Unit serves an ad to a guaranteed 1.4 million unique users over five business days. It is delivered to unique users one time only.

"[Advertisers] will get true measured reach and frequency," Briggs said.

The Enterprise Launch Unit is an extension of CNET’s Impact Launch Unit, which was rolled out last year.

The Impact Launch Unit is a half-page element that appears on a page and pushes the rest of the content down, then returns to the top of the page as a "leader board." Advertisers pay a flat fee for the unit to run for a specified amount of time.

By comparison, advertisers using the Enterprise Launch Unit pay per impression per unique user.

Briggs said the format is designed for enterprise advertisers that want to deliver an impactful brand message, as well as call for a direct response.

"Marketers with new products and services will benefit from this format," Briggs said.

"It really has the ability to grab the attention of the audience."

CNET’s first advertiser to use the new format is VeriSign, which launched a new ad campaign with the Enterprise Launch Unit on March 31 for its security services group.

The campaign is an extension of VeriSign’s "Security Sets You Free" campaign, developed by Butler, Shine & Partners, San Francisco.

The online campaign was created by SF Interactive, which last year was acquired by Butler, Shine.

"The ad is impactful and respectful," said Andy Sims, media director at SF Interactive.

"It is fairly intrusive, so we don’t want to burden people with it," he added, noting that unique users will only see the ad one time.

Both brand and direct response

VeriSign’s ad carries both a brand message and a direct response message, Sims said.

The large ad that plays for 10 seconds is a branding message for VeriSign’s Security Intelligence & Control Services. It is playing on the front pages of four sections in CNET’s Enterprise network, including,, and

The ad then shrinks down to a smaller element, which issues a call to action to view a demo. Users that click on the link are taken to a demo on VeriSign’s site.

Sims said the agency will evaluate the effectiveness of the VeriSign ad before deciding whether to use it for other clients.

"The unit works well for clients interested in quickly reaching a very broad group of people with a brand message," he said.

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