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For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.

‘Devil’ is in the details: AOL’s new ad format rolls out

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I saw “Project Devil” in my RSS reader and had visions of Meryl Streep trying to take down Tim Gunn. Alas, it’s just AOL’s new ad format, which features larger ads aimed at locking in a higher ad rate.

AdAge.com reports on the Project Devil’s progress, pegging it to the not-yet-closed $315 million AOL-HuffPo deal. (Just threw up a little bit in my mouth. Sorry.) The article speculates Project Devil will be the first test of this match made in hell because while the ads will be larger, there will be fewer of them, calling for an uncluttered design that HuffPo doesn’t have. (I personally don’t like AOL’s ADHD-inspired portal, but that’s just me. I’ve certainly navigated worse.)

According to the AOL Creativity Hub, Project Devil offers a new look for the “new web,” pledging a higher standard of advertising that encourages engagement and use. (“It’s a rethinking of the web.”) The hub touts cleaner pages, the aforementioned larger ads, less noise and a better experience. Devil aims to keep users on the page, offering advertising that “people actually want to spend time with,” which means all the brand interaction happens on the page. The users don’t have to leave the page that caught their eye. When they’re done with the content, they can engage with the advertised product through Facebook and Twitter (natch!), pictures, video and more.

From the AdAge.com story:

“This is the future of what display is heading toward,” said Jeff Levick, AOL’s president-global advertising and strategy. “People buy Vogue because they want to read the ads as much as the content. That’s exactly what we want to do.”

In other AOL-related news, the Internet pioneer’s own Tech Crunch leaked the internal memo that details the new reorganization plans in anticipation of the HuffPo Media Group that will be formed after the closing.

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog, and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her employers'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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