Larger web ads coming to a site near you

by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded

AOL has announced they are launching and selling larger web ads on various sites. These ads are about four times larger than the typical graphic ads that you currently see. This is just a part of a larger push by the online industry to capture more of the marketing dollars. Advertisers have complained that the current smaller sizes don’t allow them to be as creative as they want to be and to incorporate more video in their ads. By the way, Google and Bing have already adapted more larger sizes to accommodate advertisers wishes.

Even though online ads get more attention and are much more measurable, the digital online ad segment still gets only about 7- 10% of the total ad budget of many Fortune 500. Why is that? Mostly because there is no standardization. Not many marketers want to create a different size ads for each site. That’s time consuming, costly, and inefficient. For all of the touted efficiencies the web boasts, this is one major area that they are extremely behind traditional media. This is preventing the online ad industry from capturing more marketing dollars.

What’s the driving reason behind the larger ads? It is mostly because marketers want more than just ads online. They are looking for an opportunity to bring “brands to life”. This means a more rich experience involving as many of the senses as possible. Video is the driving element in the need for larger ad sizes. Many want to incorporate videos, games, and coupons in their online ads. The current sizes don’t allow for such creative approach. This seems odd to me given that the web is the new paradigm shift, but doesn’t allow for unique approaches to ad creation.

It will be interesting to see the reaction by the general public as these larger ads start to become more prevalent. Will this turn off the public and we see a major backlash or will they just accept that this is part of the evolution of the internet? Somebody has to pay for all this “free economy” that the web has given birth to. Right now, the numbers look promising. People are spending 47 seconds more with the larger ad format and watching 24 seconds more video on these new sizes. As with most things, new will give you a bump. The real test comes after saturation. How long will it take viewers to get used to the new sizes and start to block them out as well?

It seems like a never ending cycle, but it reinforces the importance of sticking to marketing basics and best brand practices, regardless of format or media. Be relevant, tell interesting stories, and connect with me on an emotional level on what your brand stands for and why I should care. That’s all it takes.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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