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February 2009 - Strategy Magazine
What next?
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ICE widget activates ads
by Jonathan Paul
page 26

The online shopping experience is about to get a lot easier. It's all thanks to a new interactive banner app device, the ICE AdWidget, which will ultimately bring the point of purchase to consumers anywhere an advertiser promotes on the web.

With a mouse click, the widget, developed by New York-based Interactive Commerce Exchange (ICE) Online, turns any online banner ad into an interactive microsite without consumers being redirected from the page where it appears. "We're allowing advertisers to serve the individual consumer directly and provide them with a smoother, richer experience in their online browsing," explains Tony Hilton, co-founder and president of ICE.

The company is rolling out the widget, or gadget as they call it, in three phases. Since November, consumers have been able to download coupons and other promotional material like wallpaper, ringtones, icons, screensavers and pamphlets. The gadget, coupons and pamphlets can be sent to any email or personal mobile device.

The second phase, set to launch in March, will introduce feedback services, including surveys, sign-ups and opt-in services. And the final phase, which will launch in six to eight months, will implement the commerce transactions, facilitated through credit card purchases. "It maximizes the direct response that [advertisers] are seeking online," says Hilton.

The gadget functions on HTML-based mobile devices and is priced based on the level of consumer engagement - ICE measures CPMs, CPCs, CPLs, CPAs and conversions based on a tiered CPE system. Currently, the ICE AdWidget, the patent for which is pending, has one primary client, New York-based charity Takes All Types.

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