December 11, 2009

The story behind the Viral Ad Network …

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In the last couple of weeks, Rubber Republic has rolled out the latest iteration of the Viral Ad Network.

We’ve had some good coverage in the trade press (from NMA and The Drum to sites such as Brand Republic, Revolution and utalkmarketing), which have picked up on improvements such as the quick viral planning tool, its reach (300+ publishers + 5,000 blogs & social media sites) and the CPE model.

But, there’s another story that hasn’t been told about the birth of the Viral Ad Network, which should be of particular interest to publishers and anyone with a blog or site struggling to convert its popularity into a viable self-sufficient business model.

The inspiration for the Viral Ad Network came from the struggle of one content maker’s struggle to capitalise on his success.

Andy Parkhouse, one of the founders of Rubber Republic, found overnight success and even some fame in the early part of the decade with cult satire site, Spinon, and animation series, Dude Corp, but struggled to make enough money to cover his costs.

Spinon became massive. It was an instant hit, taking Westminster by storm before becoming a cult hit around the UK. However, despite the buzz and a ton of traffic, ad revenue failed to materialise.

Back in 2001, the relevant advertising inventory didn’t exist. Yet, fast-forward to 2009 and the problem still persists with broad entertainment-based websites struggling to place contextually relevant and customisable ‘fun’ ads alongside editorial. Hard sell banner ads, ignored by the user, weren’t the solution.

Spotting a gap in the market for something that could help publishers generate much-needed ad revenue, Parkhouse and two University friends, launched the Viral Ad Network, in early 2007.

Two years later and it’s just gone through its first major update, with strong verticals in entertainment, celebrity, film and sport – a nod to Parkhouse’s early experiences. And it has its own large dedicated team within Rubber Republic to boot – setting up campaigns and drawing on their passions and interests.

If you’d like to find out more follow the link below and do let us know what you think: