RSS ad network Pheedo will announce a new service tonight – advertising widgets powered by RSS and incorporating several social media tools. Readers familiar with Techmeme‘s advertising program will recognize the ideas here – companies today are producing creative content to drive visitors to their websites and that content can be leveraged explicitly as advertising. Pheedo hopes to make this approach scalable and widely deployed. The widgets can be placed on any web page and in many other ad networks.
It’s a gamble, but it could prove a very smart one if the advertising world picks up the pace on producing compelling social media content.
The widgets, live examples of which can be seen on the Pheedo home page, can be populated by any RSS feed. Items in the feed are followed by buttons to tag those items in third party social bookmarking sites of the advertiser’s choice. Opera ad items in Pheedo, for example, can be tagged in Furl, Del.icio.us, Digg or Technorati – Expedia ads can be tagged in Del.icio.us, Reddit or Google Bookmarks. Any of the items can be emailed from inside the widget.
Video feeds can be served up in the widget as well, for now a linked thumbnail is displayed.
Do you often see advertising content you want to tag into Reddit or Digg? The first obstacle Pheedo will face is that few of its advertisers are likely to produce sufficiently compelling content to make those tagging buttons (and perhaps the whole widget) appear legitimate. It’s a great vision – advertisers joining conversations in an intelligent, creative way. Perhaps we’ll see it happen more in the future.
Opera is an interesting example, Pheedo says they’ve got 1000 subscribers to their ad widget’s feed after a month of testing. That’s impressive. If an increasing number of companies can start producing such desirable advertising content online – Pheedo’s ad widget could be well positioned to provide the infrastructure for that market shift.