When advertisements first appeared on the Web, they were banner ads that ran across the top or bottom of a Web page. Advertisers hoped to draw in consumers with eye-catching ads that would bring them to their website. Over time, these Web advertisements have evolved to become much harder for consumers to ignore. Flashing images, ads that must be watched before content can be read, ads accompanied by music--all are trying to grab the consumer's attention and draw them to the advertiser's website.
Advertising with banner ads on websites was a great way for content sites to make money. A newspaper, for example, could run banner ads at the top and bottom of its website and charge a fixed amount based on the number of impressions (or the number of readers who viewed the Web page with the ad on it). Banner ads were not successful for advertisers seeking to create a brand impression or to get consumers to click on the ad. As a result, although it is still possible to purchase banner ads, they are much cheaper because of their ineffectiveness.
Sidebar ads run vertically, rather than horizontally, and are generally considered more effective than banner ads. This is because they can be longer than a banner ad and when scrolling down the Web page, the ad continues to be in sight. As a result, sidebar ads have proved to be better at creating brand impressions and driving customers to the advertiser's website. Sidebar ads cost more than banner ads because of their higher success rate.
Varied Ad Size and Placement
Recently, advertisers have experimented by placing ads of various sizes in different places on a Web page. Small ads on a page may not cost the advertiser much, due to the limited number of click-throughs (the number of consumers who actually click on the ad), but the site host can generate revenue based on the higher amount of ads.
Pop-Up and Pop-Under Ads
These two ads, which either pop in front of the consumer, forcing her to click on the ad to make it disappear, or come up underneath the Web page content, are quite effective. While consumers may find them frustrating, they are much more effective at producing brand impressions, as well as click-throughs. Pop-up and pop-under ads cost more than other types of ads because of their effectiveness.
Floating or Flying Ads
These ads come floating or flying across the screen when the consumer first opens up a Web page. They often disable the mouse for a few moments and force the consumer to click on them to make them go away. Many of these include sound and animation, further pulling the consumer's attention away from the website and to the advertiser. Because of their ability to grab the consumer's attention, these ads cost more than many other types of ads per impression.
Like a TV commercial, Unicast ads run in a pop-up window and can run for as long as 30 seconds. With as much impact as a TV commercial, Unicast ads are increasingly popular and advertisers pay a premium to use them. Unlike television, an interested consumer can click on the ad to get more information about the advertiser's service or product.
Pull-Down Banner Ads
These ads work much like the traditional banner ads, except that when the consumer rests his mouse over the banner ad, it drops down momentarily, expanding to various sizes. Afterward, it shrinks back to its normal size. These ads are just another example of advertisers trying new styles and methods to create a brand impression on consumers or drive them to their website.
- Www.Advertising: Advertising and Marketing on the World Wide Web (Design Directories); Richard Adams; March 2003
- The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from the Advertising Research Foundation; Joe Plummer, Steve Rappaport, Taddy Hall, Robert Barocci; April 2007
- Digital Web Magazine: Typography and Web Advertising: Making Every Opportunity Count: Alexander W. White: June 2007
- Web Developers Notes: Advertising Online Using Web Banner
- Photo Credit computer image by michele goglio from Fotolia.com
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