Interesting Ads

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The following are more technology-advanced forms of advertising. They are interesting to viewers because they have attributes that are unique or unusual in some way. These attributes might be more apt to grab viewers’ attention and entice them to click on the ad.

  • Expanding ads. An expanding banner ad (Figures 15.1) is one that looks like a normal ad but expands when you click on it, keeping you on the same site rather than transporting you to another site on the Internet. Usually these say “Click to Expand,” and the viewer then can learn more about what the banner is promoting.
  • Animated ads. Animated ads contain a group of images in one file that rotate in a specific order. These ads are more likely to receive a higher click-through than a normal ad because moving images increase the chance of viewers being attracted to and reading the ad. These ads also allow you to deliver more information than in a normal ad because you can show different files, which contain different data. Limit your ads to two to four frames to keep your load time fast and to make sure your viewers read your information.

This is an example of an expanding advertisement. It displays the ad and then prompts the viewer to scroll to see more. When the banner expands, it prompts the viewer to click through to the advertiser’s site.

  • Drop-down menu ads containing embedded HTML. We are seeing an increase in ads containing embedded HTML. These allow viewers to select from a drop-down menu which site they want to visit. These ads are great because instead of making viewers click through and then navigate through your site, as with a conventional ad, these direct your viewers to the page of interest on your site. This type of ad also is great for co-op advertising programs. Several companies targeting the same target market, in a noncompeting way, can use this type of advertising to get more exposure for their dollar.
  • Interstitial ads. These are advertisements that appear in a separate browser window while your visitors wait for a Web page to load.
    Interstitial ads are more likely to contain large graphics, streaming presentations, and more applets than a conventional ad. However, some users have complained that interstitial ads slow access to destination pages.
  • Flash ads. These ads allow you to use rich media in your advertisements. By using this technology, you can incorporate animation and sound into your advertisement.
  • Floating ads and DHTML. These ads appear when you first view a Web page, and they appear to “fly” or “float” over the page for anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds. They tend to obscure your view of the page, and they often disable mouse input until the ad is finished loading so that you must watch it before being able to access the page content. They have a high click-through rate and are great for branding, although their intrusiveness has been questioned.
  • Unicast ads. A unicast ad is basically like a television commercial that runs in a pop-up window. It has animation and sound and can last from 10 to 30 seconds. Although they are like television commercials, they go a step farther in that a viewer can then click on the ad to obtain further information. They have a higher-than-average click-through rate.
  • Rich media ads. These advertisements use dynamic tools such as Flash, HTML forms, Java, ASP, Javascript, or other programming languages or applications that increase the appearance or the functionality of the ad. A rich media ad may include sound or a registration form and usually commands higher CPM levels than other banner ads.