New advertising strategies are popping up in a climate that will squelch the unimaginative. Tuesday the Online Publishers Association announced three new display ad formats in hopes to revitalize Web ad use. The larger, more interactive advertising spaces are expected to engage readers more fully, allow online publishers to charge advertisers more, and offer an alternative to multiple cheap ads that encroach on and devalue page space. These new ad units will potentially be the only ad on the first screen, and will allow viewers to bookmark them as they would a Web page.The "Fixed Panel" is 336 pixels wide and 860 pixels tall, and scrolls to the top and bottom of a page in a fixed position as the user scrolls through a page. The 468 by 648 pixel "XXL Box" can embed a video. The "Pushdown" ad dwarfs the others at 970 by 418 pixels, and opens up and moves itself to the top of the page.
Search advertisements that appear next to search results are largely ignored in their current format . These ads are expected to grow about nine percent this year, while revenues for pictorial display ads are expected to fall, according to BusinessWeek . This strategy is hoping to rekindle interest in display ads, heightening brand awareness and therefore increasing the efficacy of search ads.
Participating publishers including sites from BusinessWeek, The New York Times, Time, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and USA Today, have committed to at least one of the ad formats by July.
By giving more creativity to brand marketers, experiments can be run to see where the advertising money should be spent. Because of the increased size, the ads could annoy more than engage, and the plan could become counterproductive. To catch on with the rest of the network, the campaign will have to show measurable success.