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The New York Times Company : Launches Ricochet, A New Social Media Advertising Program

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04/26/2012 | 08:05pm CEST

Enterprise Software Company SAP the First to Utilize New Marketing Solution

The New York Times Company announced today the launch of Ricochet, a new approach to digital marketing. SAP, along with media agency Mindshare, is the first company to utilize this new marketing solution.

Developed in The New York Times Company's Research & Development lab, and commercialized by the Times Company's newly formed R&D Ventures group, Ricochet is a new model of digital marketing that blends media buying with a brand's social media and owned media strategies. R&D Ventures evolved out of the R&D lab and brings promising new product concepts to market.

Here is how Ricochet works: A brand selects articles from any of the Times Company's Web sites that are consistent with the brand's content strategy. The Ricochet Platform (patent pending) then creates a unique Web address that binds the brand's advertising to those articles for a set duration. During that duration the brand can share the Ricochet links through any of its owned media channels and across social media including Facebook, Twitter, eNewsletters, Google+ and more.

In conjunction with media agency Mindshare Worldwide, SAP is the first advertiser to utilize the product. SAP's use of Ricochet for its ad campaign will feature articles from NYTimes.com. An example of one of the SAP-selected articles can be viewed here: http://r-i.co/ve. Here is that same article, as it appears to anyone who navigates to the page without using the Ricochet link: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/supercomputing-rented-by-the-hour/.

SAP plans to use the service to balance its marketing approach across both push and pull marketing by attracting the right kind of customers with The New York Times's respected content and then providing a targeted advertising message--all delivered through SAP's Web properties and social accounts. The service will be utilized by SAP's official social media accounts as well as by key influencers within the company. The service will also tie into SAP's new "Run Like Never Before" global advertising campaign launched last week.

"In the traditional advertising model, brands reach audiences through content; by contrast, using Ricochet, content reaches audiences through brands," said Michael Zimbalist, vice president, research & development operations, The New York Times Company. "As brands develop their own direct connections to audiences on their Web sites and through social media, Ricochet allows them to bring professionally produced content to those audiences surrounded by their own brand messaging."

"Through this service, we hope to develop deeper relationships and earn the attention and trust of our future customers by putting their information needs at the center of our marketing strategy," said Susan Popper, senior vice president, marketing communications & experience, SAP. "We immediately saw this opportunity as a unique and innovative approach to deliver the right content to the right audience through our own properties and channels, with the authoritative content of The New York Times, wrapped in our own brand messages."

"By blending paid, owned and earned media, Ricochet allows us to do something truly unique: enable the discovery of relevant content through SAP's social graph and marry it with the right message in the form of display advertising," said Asli Hamamci, director, digital strategy, Mindshare. "With this pilot, we are taking another step toward tomorrow's socially-led media world."

Ricochet operates in conjunction with Cascade, a proprietary data visualization tool that can monitor the sharing of content on Twitter. Cascade, which was also developed by the Times Company's R&D lab, allows the brand to visualize the Ricochet links as they are shared on Twitter and thereby gain additional insights such as which key influencers are driving traffic to the content, what those influencers are saying, and which hashtags, if any, they use.

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading global, multimedia news and information company with 2011 revenues of $2.3 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, NYTimes.com, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com, About.com and related properties. The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

SAP (NYSE: SAP) is a leading provider of enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device - SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Mindshare is a global media and marketing services network with billings in excess of $27.8 billion (source: RECMA). The network consists of 115 offices in 82 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, each dedicated to forging competitive marketing advantage for businesses and their brands. Mindshare is part of GroupM, which oversees the media investment management sector for WPP, the world's leading communications services group.

SAP and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries.

All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

SAP Forward-looking Statement

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.

This press release can be downloaded from www.nytco.com

For The New York Times:
Linda Zebian, 212-556-7153
For SAP:
Scott Behles, 917-494-2009
For MindShare:
Scott Berwitz, 212-297-8083

© Business Wire 2012
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