Skype to roll out large format ads for Irish brands

8 Sep 2011

Ad manager for Skype in EMEA Mr. Vaughan Denny, with Robert Quirke, Country Manager for Ad2One Ireland and Grant Allaway, group MD Ad2One

Voice and video internet calling player Skype revealed today it will introduce large format advertising for leading brands. Skype’s ad sales manager for EMEA Vaughan Denny announced the decision at an industry briefing in Dublin this morning.

Under the new service, Irish advertisers will gain access to Skype’s Irish user base of 90,000, as well the opportunity to run cross-market campaigns in up to a dozen other countries.

The move will enable brands to place ads in the home tab of Skype for Windows.

Microsoft recently acquired Skype for a whopping US$8.5bn.

Vaughan revealed the decision at an online marketing conference held by marketing agency Ad2One Ireland.

Skype Home provides advertisers with a large masthead space of 650 × 170 pixels expandable to 650 × 340 pixels to display ads that can include audio and/or video.

Users spend around an hour and a half on Skype per month, so the placement has high engagement advantages.

Since the ads are on Skype, advertisers can include a Click & Call button in the ad as another call to action. In addition, it allows people to share the ad to their Facebook or Twitter accounts, and with one click, ads can also be closed with the Close Ad button.

“The user experience on Skype is always a priority so we believe our solution where we offer a sponsorship ad based on one brand per day not only provides value for premium brands but does not detract from our users’ experience,” Vaughan said.

The first international advertisers to sign up with Skype include Visa, Groupon, Nokia and Universal Pictures.

A compelling new form of audience engagement

Robert Quirke, country manager for Ad2One Ireland, said Irish advertisers will not only be offered access to 90,000 users in Ireland but to the other markets in which Skype has launched advertising, such as the US, Germany, France, Canada and more.

“All Skype homepage takeovers (HPTOs) which are cleverly integrated into areas so they won’t interrupt the user’s Skype experience, offer different ways of engaging the audience to which an advertiser would have 100pc share of voice,” Quirke explained.

“It is all about ‘intimate conversations’, where the brand fits into real relations, real lives, real conversation and real messaging,” he added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years