Two years ago, AOL hosted a TV network-like upfront show for ad buyers at the Time Warner centre overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park. Mario Lopez make guest appearance. Fake dollar bills rained from the ceiling.
Last night, AOL hosted a much smaller, probably more effective event, hiring out a room in the Natural History Museum. They put Platform A boss Lynda Clarizio and AOL EVP of programming Bill Wilson on stage instead of washed-up celebrities.
We didn’t manage to catch it with the Flip video camera we’re trying out, but Wilson came on stage bouncing down the middle aisle to the sounds of Kanye West’s “Stronger.” Presenting, he kept up the energy. Here’s what we took away:
- Designer Peter Rivera remade all 30 of AOL’s sites in the last 18 months.
- AOL doesn’t believe portals anymore.
- But in case you do, FYI: ad click-throughs are up 12% on AOL.com since its redesign.
- Years ago, Coca-Cola told AOL they would never work with them again because of their sketchy sales force. But times have changed and Coke is back. Thanks to AOL’s flexibility with “deep brand integration” — site takeovers — they’re happier than ever.
- Social network Bebo was conspicuously absent from Wilson’s presentation.
After the show, we caught up with AOL CEO Randy Falco. He talked a bit about Yahoo and also said that the economy is going to get much worse. Platform A’s Lynda Clarizio said consumer packaged goods advertisers need to get more into online ads. Wilson said they will, especially in a downturn, because they’re more measurable.
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