The first background image advertising company relaunched as an advertising platform

Adcamo, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company, relaunched yesterday as an advertising platform. Previously, the company was an ad network unto itself, using the same technology that it now leverages for publishers and other ad networks. By doing that, Adcamo can focus on improving their technology and also function as a gatekeeper (Google is also a gatekeeper in advertising, which made them rich).

Background advertising has never been touched before (except MySpace to some extent) and Adcamo patented this technology (patent pending, actually) and empowers others to use it. That means publishers who want to sell their background as ad space can now use Adcamo’s technology to manage this. The company has also released an API that ad networks and agencies can use to integrate it into their own systems or software.

Their platform not only offers features that can be found in a standard ad platform (create campaigns, track clicks, impressions, view details, similar to Google AdWords or OpenX platforms), but also offers a unique feature: TBC (Time Before of the click). This metric measures the time from page load to user clicking an ad, indicating how effective an ad is: the sooner a user clicks an ad, the more effective that ad is.

They offer three background ad formats:

tileable background (the image stretches to fill the entire background and moves as you scroll up and down (frankly I don’t like this format because it can mess up the design of a web page and make it look amateurish… look at MySpace pages, and you get the idea).

pillar (the image stays on top of the background and when you scroll down the background image disappears to the top – I think this is the best background ad format yet. It’s not that intrusive and certainly doesn’t screw up too much the design of a web page; it actually merges with the design trends of the last time).

projection (in this case, the background image is in a fixed position, so when you scroll, the content also scrolls, but not the background image – this is a compromise between the two options above).

These three formats are also clickable (yes, you can see the background ad but you can also click on it).

These background ad formats will cause publishers and ad networks/agencies to carefully choose the banners they use for their campaigns. Publishers will want banners that don’t mess up their website/page design and also give them a good reward. Ad networks/agencies will likely work with advertisers to create banners that don’t interfere too much with a website’s design. Banners are sometimes linked to the background image, so whatever is displayed in the banners will also appear in the background image. But sometimes they are not, so the background image and banners can be separate but complement each other.

Now, the only thing left to test is whether the background advertising will take off. I am pretty sure many users are very annoyed by popup ads, underlay ads, layered ads and interstitial ads, so I think you have a good chance.

Will background ads annoy them too? (and by the way, for now there is no way to block background ads like there are ways to block popup and popup ads).

If users accept this type of advertising (as they did with text ads), then Adcamo could be quite successful as a business.

What do you think as a user (publisher or advertiser)? Do you see Adcamo winning this potential market? (I’m pretty sure the competition will start showing up, perhaps using other variations on this theme.)

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