Today The Washington Post RED team launches Fuse, technology that provides a consumer-first ad experience built for the high speed, mobile era. In a guest blog post, The Post’s Head of Ad Product and Technology Jarrod Dicker explains how Fuse works, why it will improve how advertisers engage with users on The Post and broaden the creative landscape for marketers.
The rise of mobile has prompted many publishers to modify the way they’ve traditionally told their stories to readers. Slow load times and lack of responsiveness were triggers that forced publishers to rethink and redesign their sites for a better, and nimbler, consumer experience on mobile devices. It was a catalyst for innovation across platforms as well, spawning the birth of Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP.
But what about advertising? If we’re recognizing a change is needed with how publishers deliver their stories, shouldn’t we be building technologies to facilitate brand adoption as well? Mobile advertising today is set up to drive the user away from the experience they’re currently on. But what if it was possible to keep the consumer within their current experience, delivering a brand’s message in a fast, authentic and user-friendly way?
Today we’re excited to announce Fuse, a proprietary advertising technology that provides a seamless, immersive, cross-platform experience. Because Fuse is fully-hosted on The Post, users can easily click or swipe the ad unit to open the creative that stays within the current application (apps, mweb, desktop), removing latency or load time. When a user swipes on the promotional unit powered by Fuse, the ad unit opens pre-cached and immediately within the application to reveal a full-screen, dynamic experience. Users can then swipe or click to return to where they were in the editorial article, creating a seamless transition between the advertising and editorial experience. Following the industry standard, a Fuse ad is identified by a lightning bolt in the top right corner of the promotional creative to denote an instantaneous load.
Fuse will eventually be the default advertising experience on The Washington Post, allowing marketers to deliver their brand story with the same speed and execution as editorial content. Advertisers are able to use their existing assets or leverage our studio to create new ones (whether branded content, infographics, 360 video, etc.) and place them within Fuse. This is a solution for both branded content and traditional media, paving the way for brands across platforms. Fuse is one way The Post is dedicated to creating a faster, more seamless mobile web.
Fuse is currently running as a solution for Post branded content, with a larger rollout across all advertising products in the following weeks. In addition to the demo above, see how an ad promoting WP BrandStudio uses Fuse here (from a mobile device).