‘Context’ Returns As Fotopedia And Jetsetter Target The Retina

fotopediaYour retina is starting to make demands.

As the display of your favorite device amps up its pixels per inch – such as Apple’s retina display for its iOS product line – so too are the visual requirements for content providers. And that means higher expectations and resolution for ads. This focus on content and context may seem counter to the digital audience buying and selling business. Yet, Fotopedia founder Jean-Marie Hullot knows that certain audiences like his company’s stuff.

Hullot’s original idea for Fotopedia was a Wikipedia for photos, but he knew there must be a revenue model beyond an annual campaign drive by a founder. Paris-based Hullot tells AdExchanger, “We were already building Fotopedia in 2010 and then came the iPad. We had millions of great pictures, but we didn’t have the right package so that people could enjoy it. With the iPad, I said ‘OK, we have our consumer story.'” -and the iOS version of Fotopedia was born, which today includes 12 million users and 200 million page views a month according to the company.

Hullot, who served as NeXT CTO and Apple Apps CTO under Steve Jobs for five years until breaking out on his own in 2006, says the advertising component (see examples) of his high rez entertainment business emphasizes the content as a proxy for audience, “We do targeting based on what people are looking at. And, we try to avoid having any advertising that is irrelevant to what users are currently reading. The difference on mobile is that you don’t have the attention of people for a long time. What we have decided to do is grab the user’s attention and get the ‘wow’ effect where the advertising is very relevant to what they saw before. In the best situation we can get above 10% CTR for some of the ads.”

Maud Pasturaud, senior manager of customer acquisition at travel site Jetsetter, a Fotopedia client, says that the ‘immersive experience’ that her company’s iPad app offers is a good fit for Jetsetter marketing objectives and she looks for the same thing with advertising partners. Pasturaud told AdExchanger via email, “Like Jetsetter, Fotopedia is obsessed about providing an amazing user experience focused on photography. We’ve built every Jetsetter product around beautiful imagery. We know it is the key to inspiring our members.”

Clearly, Jetsetter and Fotopedia are banking on higher quality creative as a key to inspiring success with certain audiences, but Fotopedia’s Hullot also sees part of his company’s advantage in having the picture archive that travel agency and tourism bureau clients do not.

Additionally, he says there’s a Fotopedia ad system which customers can leverage to optimize creative, “In a way, we have an ad factory. It’s simple to take a picture and use our templates with overlays and type to create beautiful, excellent content. For me, advertising has been this thing that you have had to skip or – ‘OK, I get this for free so I get advertising’ – but I find this annoying. This is not what I want. Even the click-through needs to be part of the experience. When I go to see a movie there are some countries where the ads that they screen before the movie are very creative to the point that it’s part of the show. For my own company’s products, this is always the goal. We have to make it a great experience.”

Pasturaud sees audience and context as critically important in digital advertising, but says emphatically, “Your media will only perform if it is in the right context. At Jetsetter, we invest cautiously and target quality over quantity. We’re not looking for one-time visits. We’re after consumers who will convert into members and then long-term customers.”

As device displays increase their pixels per inch, expect display ad creative to grow even more important. For publisher Fotopedia and advertiser Jetsetter, they’re already targeting the retina.


By John Ebbert

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