PopularMedia, Inc. Introduces the First Publisher-Independent Social Advertising Solution

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Influencer Ads allow brands and agencies to create results-driven social experiences beyond the confines of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

We're excited to use the platform for our own campaigns in addition to doing custom programs for our portfolio of big-brand advertisers.

PopularMedia, Inc., today introduced Influencer Ads™, an online advertising format that lets marketers expand their social advertising campaigns beyond destination sites like Facebook and MySpace. For the first time, marketers can create social ads for nearly any kind of website, boosting the flexibility, impact and results of their campaigns.

The new format injects standard display ad units and marketer sites with rich social networking functionality, allowing marketers to create truly social experiences around their brands. Marketers simply need to come up with "excuses" for people to connect with each other in fun and engaging ways.

"Influencer Ads were designed to be relevant for today's socially connected consumer," said Jim Calhoun, CEO of PopularMedia, Inc. "People use their social networks to filter and qualify what's worth paying attention to. This makes traditional advertising more challenging, but creates significant opportunities for brands to innovate in high-impact ways."

Consumers who engage an Influencer Ad can invite their friends to join them in a social experience hosted at the advertiser's site. Recipients who click on invitation links are then "welcomed" at the advertiser's site by the friend who invited them. This dynamically generated, personalized welcome panel reinforces the social connection between inviters and recipients. It acts as a reminder that they are visiting the marketer's site with the friend who brought it to their attention. This powerful feature reinforces the trusted bonds among campaign participants, creating an impactful, truly social consumer experience.

Influencer Ads are priced on a CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) basis, making it easy for agencies and marketers to integrate Influencer Ads into their existing online ad campaigns. Influencer Ads can be placed on any site capable of carrying "rich media" ads, which gives marketers much greater control over where their campaigns are placed. This means that social advertising campaigns can now be run at tremendous scale with greatly reduced complexity.

"We tested Influencer Ads, and we can't wait to get them rolling again when our new site launches in mid-February," said Neil Kjeldsen, VP eCommerce and Direct Marketing of N.V. Perricone, M.D. "The ability to construct campaigns that tap, measure and optimize the word-of-mouth elements of our brand drives very high-quality traffic for us, and conversion rates exceed expectations."    

An online campaign management and production system allows marketers to create and manage an unlimited number of campaigns.

"The Influencer Ads format makes it easy for us to develop fun, high-impact social campaigns for our advertisers," said Mark Mangan, CEO of Flavorpill. "We're excited to use the platform for our own campaigns in addition to doing custom programs for our portfolio of big-brand advertisers."

Broad Publisher Support Out of the Gate

Advertisers and creative shops that do not have access to media buying and planning resources can work with PopularMedia to run their Influencer Ads campaigns across high-quality Rubicon Project publishers. Reaching more than 320 million unique Internet users, the Rubicon Project is one of the largest sources of ad inventory and reach on the Internet and the preferred source of targeted, audience-segmented inventory for ad networks around the world. The unique combination of ad network optimization and Smart Matching™ technology drives revenue lift ranging from 30-300% for the Rubicon Project's customers.

"We are excited to enable publishers to take advantage of this new rich media ad format," said Frank Addante, CEO and founder of the Rubicon Project. "Our tremendous reach across targeted audiences on premium websites, combined with PopularMedia's innovative new format, gives marketers a great opportunity to extend social media advertising beyond social networking sites. Influencer Ads are great for the ecosystem -- advertisers, publishers and consumers alike."

How Influencer Ads Work

PopularMedia Influencer Ads inject rich social networking functionality into expandable display ad units -- allowing advertisers to create engaging online experiences where sharing branded content or offers among friends is central to the experience.

Consumers engage with an Influencer Ad and are prompted to invite their friends to join them in a marketing program or promotion at the advertiser's site. Greeted by the person who invited them, recipients who complete targeted campaign actions are then prompted to become inviters. These dynamically generated welcome panels reinforce the trusted bond among campaign participants, creating a powerful, truly social consumer experience.

A series of social feedback loops (status updates, alerts, notifications and more) further encourage participants to engage in Influencer Ad campaigns. Once a campaign participant completes a marketing objective -- watching a video, taking a survey, filling out a form, purchasing a product, ordering a trial and so on -- the system automatically prompts each of those consumers to invite their friends to join the experience.

This process, known as a "viral loop," is the method of user-driven growth leveraged by social networking sites to quickly achieve scale. Integration is as simple as copying a line of JavaScript on the marketer's site.

Social Ad Creation, Optimization & Management

For additional product details, an online demo or to get started building an Influencer Ads campaign, please visit http://www.popularmedia.com.

At that website, marketers (and their agencies) can get immediate access to the Influencer Ads Platform and can develop an Influencer Ads campaign with no CPM charges or other obligations for 30 days. Brand advertisers and their agencies can quickly add high-impact, rich social networking functionality to their online ad buys. They can easily manage, refine and optimize an unlimited number of campaigns without any coding.

Each Influencer Ads campaign is powered by a viral marketing engine that offers real-time optimization of creative executions to maximize viral impact. A comprehensive activity dashboard extends beyond simple tracking and enables marketers to actively participate in campaigns, adjust messages to increase viral appeal and multiply reach to drive greater ROI.

About PopularMedia, Inc.

PopularMedia, Inc. helps advertisers and publishers multiply the impact of their online ad campaigns and significantly increase user engagement by wrapping standard online display advertising units with an interactive social media layer. The company's Influencer Ads platform allows marketers to create engaging online experiences that invite consumers to share content, products and offers with their network of friends, relatives and colleagues. Driving these results is a sophisticated, proprietary viral optimization engine that analyzes campaigns for maximum virality and impact.

Privately held and based in San Francisco, PopularMedia is funded by leading venture firms Sequoia Capital, Steamboat Ventures and DAG Ventures. For more information, please visit http://www.popularmedia.com.

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Ted Rossman

Lauren Dresnick

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