E-Marketing in Minneapolis David Vinge, eMarketing Dashboard: A Better Banner?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Better Banner?

Competition for online advertising dollars has never been more intense. Banners were once king but have continued to lose ground to more responsive ads. Overture (now Yahoo Search)introduced and Google perfected text ads next to search results where advertisers only pay if visitor clicks on the ad. The next threat comes from social networks like Facebook and MySpace which are improving their targeting of ads based on users' interests, online activities and their circle of friends.

While these new efforts are highly targeted, there is still demand for reaching the masses. Even as marketers shift budgets from mass media, there is still the need to reach customers who don't know that they NEED your product.

To meet this demand while combating banner blindness, twenty-seven large publishers, members of the Online Publishers Association (OPA), are introducing three new types of online display ads. The new formats are meant to reduce clutter while getting more directly into the generic consumer's face.

The publishers involved in this initiative, including national newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, magazines like Forbes and Condé Nast and multimedia sites like MTV Networks and ESPN are hoping these new ad formats will strike a balance in getting more reader attention without driving readers away.

The proposed new advertising units are:

* The Fixed Panel (recommended dimension is 336 wide x 860 tall), which looks naturally embedded into the page layout and scrolls to the top and bottom of the page as a user scrolls.
* The XXL Box (recommended dimension is 468 wide x 648 tall), which has page-turn functionality with video capability.
* The Pushdown (recommended dimension is 970 wide x 418 tall), which opens to display the advertisement and then rolls up to the top of the page.

Publishers will offer at least one of these three new ad formats to advertisers by July.

Note that these formats are not part of the standards supported by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). According to Business Week the IAB is open to adopting these new formats but so far the OPA appears intent on keeping the formats to just its members. So for now you will need to deal directly with the publishers to test these formats as they will not be offered as part of a network by third parties.

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