Since last year's DoubleClick acquisition, we've increased our focus on helping marketers and agencies use Google tools for all of their display advertising needs. DoubleClick Rich Media is the part of DoubleClick that provides the technology for the most technically advanced and engaging of these display ads, which are typically created by creative agencies for their brand-focused clients. To help make this process even easier and efficient, today we're launching DoubleClick Studio, our new rich media production and development tool.

To describe rich media, it helps to think about other ad formats that we're all familiar with, starting with the simplest: text ads. With just a few keystrokes, anyone can create simple messages in a standardized format, and place them on a site like in minutes. Then we have standard display ads, ads that usually include text with a visual such as a logo or a graphic. These can be in formats we're all familiar with like .jpg, .gif, .swf and more. Standard display ads can either be static or animated with tools like Flash. They typically have only one interaction, meaning that when you click on them, you'll be taken to a destination site. And then at the most complex level, from a design and interaction perspective, we have rich media ads. With rich media, you can have ads that expand when users click or roll over, for example, and there are extensive possibilities for interactive content, such as HD video or even the ability to click to make a phone call.

But making a rich media ad possible requires much more complex technology to ensure that all of the ad behaviors function properly, that all of the interactions can be measured, and to serve the ads onto web pages. Every piece of the canvas, from the video play button to the button that allows for expansion, requires coding in Flash that's made possible by a rich media technology provider like DoubleClick Rich Media. With all of this complexity, there's also a lot of room for error. So in addition to enabling the development of the ads, tools like DoubleClick Studio provide quality analysis and preview functionalities to make sure that the ads work the way they should.

Here is a graphic that represents some of the differences between types of online ads:

With DoubleClick Studio, we hope to make it easier for our existing users to produce rich media ads, and to expand the number of advertisers that can make these useful formats part of their marketing strategy. This is also a good thing for Internet users; rich media capabilities make advertising even more useful, letting a viewer interact with an ad and learn about a brand without having to leave the page they're on. And, advertisers have an expanded creative canvas within the ad itself, allowing for deeper, higher-quality content in the ad itself. At Google, we believe that ads at their best are useful information.

To read more about DoubleClick Studio, visit the DoubleClick blog.