Aol Strategic Initiative Chief Tom Thai Says Pictela Acquisition Accelerates Project Devil

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Aol Acquires PictelaToday, Aol continued its charge into the premium digital ad business as it announced the acquisition of Pictela (AdExchanger.com Q&A from 4/5/10), a company whose technology platform provides branded content across advertising and social media according to the release. Read it. Aol appears to remain laser-focused on building premium ad opportunities and preparing for brand dollars coming online in a much bigger way next year and beyond.

Tom Thai, head of strategic initiatives, AOL Advertising, briefly discussed the acquisition's implications with AdExchanger.com.

AdExchanger.com: What's the takeaway for brand advertisers with this acquisition?

TT: The Pictela product and AOL's Project Devil product are both designed and built with brand advertisers in mind. Thus far, both products have been extremely well-received by the brand advertising community as well as the creative agencies. What this acquisition means is, simply, an acceleration of both Pictela and Project Devil development. Brand advertisers can expect more and faster innovation in this space - advertising solutions that really focus on their brand-oriented objectives.

How do you see Pictela working with your previous acquisitions such as 5min?

We see huge opportunity in both video and in rich media branded display formats both of which improve consumer and advertisers experiences.  Video views and traffic to AOL properties are increasing significantly and where appropriate we are likely to leverage Project Devil and Pictela ads to enhance the monetization of that video content. Note also that Pictela formats are industry approved and appear across the web so it is possible you will see AOL video or AOL syndicated video along with Pictela formats on non-AOL O&O properties.

Do you anticipate more acquisitions in the next 12 months?  When will you address mobile, for example?

We'll keep you posted on any acquisition-related announcements.

By John Ebbert

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