Ms. Powell and many other marketers see sponsoring widgets as a promising route to consumers because they integrate advertising onto the Web page. It is a more-relevant approach than banner advertising, she says, and less annoying than video ads that take over the screen. Widgets are also one of the only ways marketers can get inside MySpace pages because the popular News Corp. social-networking site doesn’t sell advertising on individual members’ pages.
Most types of widgets also offer the marketers the chance to monitor eyeballs, because a user’s click on one of these live features can be counted as easily as a click on a banner ad.
“I don’t believe in banner advertising,” Ms. Powell says. “It’s important to create content that speaks to different audience segments where they are.”