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advertising for
Or: what will replace the display banner?
12 exciting new ways of
digital publishers
Display ads are by far the
biggest source of income for
online publishers
Currently
• medium rectangle
• half-page
• leaderboard
• and possibly hundreds
of more obscure types
(You may or may not have notice...
online conversion rates are dropping
Digital ad incomes are huge while
But, and this is no secret…
• 8% of the users account for 85% of clicks on banners
(and some of them aren't even humans)
• The average click-through r...
Display banners are often obtrusive and
don’t enhance or integrate with the overall
experience well enough
What’s going wr...
With today’s ‘everything online is open and
free’ standard, publishers struggle to find
the sweet spot for just-enough adve...
'Just-enough’ ads you say?
Generally, Ads lower the perception of quality of the content, their
distractive nature makes t...
More cognitive load means
harder on the eye
From a user experience standpoint, banners are noisy;
banner blindness is getting more prevalent
meaning increased risk
Also,
of missing crucial interface elements
(potentially...
The increasing popularity of ad blockers is
evidence that banners are a nuisance to
many internet users.


23% of American...
(Maybe.)
!
Although something can be said for the
user experience being ignored for too long
(Leaving out any of the priva...
(Btw, site’s are responding to this…)
via littebigdetails.com iconmonstr.com
the display banner as we know it is nearing
the end of its life span
‘Sad’ news
buh-bye!
many advertisers, together with publishers,
are rethinking online branding,
let’s take a look at 12 concepts…
However
From conversion to branding
Advertising concept
1
* see our blogpost on emotional design
There’s a rise of beautiful and emotional* online advertising
that conveys the bran...
Even though the ad is huge, it doesn’t ruin the experience
because of the visual attractiveness and the positioning
qz.nl
”[These ads feel] intuitive for readers and lets
Aziz Hasan, creative director at Say Media (digiday.com)
advertisers keep...
WeTransfer knows how to let advertisers to make the brands
‘pop’ while maintaining the core feature simple & convenient
we...
Vox’s huge Triton ad uses a depth effect; while scrolling
the ad moves slower, hence it’s longer visible
polygon.comThe vis...
(A bit like a micro-site)
Devil Ad has developed an ad format that
can be placed next to an article
devilad.nl
Advertisers can pitch their
story more elaborately with
visuals, text, video’s or other
interactive elements
!
By not sque...
Visual noise is kept at a minimum even
though the photography is larger.
In the end, size does and does not matter.
The th...
This is digital space.
There’s no need to repeat the formulas of
print, to fight over pixels as if we’re limited
by the med...
Swipecube
(Mobile) advertising concept
2
AdGibbon has developed a mobile-first format,
Swipecube, which contains content in 4 ‘sides’
that can be swiped through
Thus creating an efficient use of space in which
advertisers can express more with less visual
noise
Critical note: the swip...
Snap banners
(Mobile) advertising concept
3
The Snap banner sticks to the bottom of the
screen while the page content scrolls past
Used in the Entertainment Weekly re...
When scrolling beyond a certain point the
banner is ‘parked' in the page
When tapping the banner, the ad opens in a full-
screen modal window so the user doesn’t leave
the article directly
For advertisers the banner’s
’stickiness' is attractive because
it’s more likely to be 'above the
fold’*
!
For users it’s ...
Display ads in Google
Advertising concept
4
Google (the godfather of modest advertising) has been
experimenting with display banners.
It’s no accident that some clean...
Interactive banners
Advertising concept
5
On Quartz user are invited to sign-up, they
directly engage with the brand on the
publisher’s site
qz.com
The user is triggered by a question and
can submit contact information, all within
the site
qz.com
After submitting the form, there’s a
confirmation. Still, the user doesn’t leave
the site until (s)he clicks on ‘Learn more...
Some WeTransfer ads are also interactive:
here people can freely click through to a
slideshow, before they choose to leave...
With Time’s ”magnetic ads” brands can use
the left column as navigation for the right
column.
time.com
On a side-note, don’t add tech for tech’s sake*
Instead, integrate interactivity with the story, make it meaningful.
(* Li...
Prestitials
Advertising concept
6
Forbes uses a ads called prestitials,
banners that appear before the actual
content is shown
forbes.com
With their (light-hearted) addition of a
"Thought Of The Day” this design pattern
should be little more agreeable for users
Why display such a traditional small and static banner in an
otherwise empty canvas?
Also, the Forbes website is already c...
Advertorials
Advertising concept
7
BuzzFeed work closely with advertisers
and create viral content for their website.
buzzfeed.com
Because science.
According to the principle of reciprocity
delivering valuable content generates a sense of
gratitude (and...
NRC.nl
Look, integration!
On nrc.nl the commercial blends in nicely
with the editorial content.
!
However
(1) Mixing the two can affect a company’s c...
Sponsored content
Advertising concept
8
Sponsored content in a yet subtle
and elegantly form
theatlantic.com
Sponsored content in a yet subtle
and elegantly form
qz.com
Advertiser buy only the association
with the article
Common on TV: ”This program is brought to you by…”
chicagotribune.com
Another way of jumping the ‘ad-less era
bandwagon’ while maintaining an online
presence. Well played, Shuttershock.
thenex...
Sponsored channels
Advertising concept
9
On Forbes people can follow authors
to get a personalised news stream
forbes.com
They extended this to branded channels
which boosts engagement
E.g Dell and NetApp are making use of this
forbes.com
Follows the Twitter-model, which in turn
also supports all kinds of sponsored content
twitter.com
Sponsored features
Advertising concept
10
Like an annotation feature, which can
of course be slightly branded
Help building features that people can appreciate
qz.c...
The official FIFA app has quite a few
subtle sponsored features
www.fifa.com/mobile
Sponsoring features has an opportunity to...
No ads, when paying
Advertising concept (?)
11
Either the advertiser or the user pays for
the content: there’s a clear choice
Relies on the goodwill of readings wanting ...
The Chocolat application switches to
Comic Sans after the trial period
A designer’s biggest nightmare
littlebigdetails.com
No ads, … EVER
Advertising concept (?)
12
De Correspondent offers paid subscriptions
but everything’s accessible for anyone
That is: anyone who has the link, prefera...
To summarise…
The future is exiting!
Know any other great examples? Mail us at evan@sodastudio.nl
• There are no absolutes (if there ever were any) of what
wor...
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12 Exciting New Ways of Advertising for Publishers (Or: What Will Replace the Display Banner?)

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Published on

Display ads are by far the biggest source of income for online publishers. There’s the medium rectangle, half-page, leaderboard, and possibly hundreds of more obscure types.

But, while digital ad incomes are huge online conversion rates are dropping. (For example: 8% of the users account for 85% of clicks on banners, the average click-through rate of display ads is 0.1%.)

What’s going wrong here?
The biggest problem is that display banners are often obtrusive and don’t enhance or integrate with the overall experience well enough.

‘Sad’ news: the display banner as we know it is nearing the end of its life span

However, many advertisers, together with publishers, are rethinking online branding, let’s take a look at 12 exciting concepts for online advertising.

Contains advertising concepts by / found on Forbes, Quartz, The Next Web, Vox (Polygon), De Volkskrant, NRC, Time, WeTransfer, AdGibbon, GlobalMoxie, Google, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, FIFA app, De Correspondent & more!

-- Photography sources --

"Ruler" by Scott Akerman, some rights reserved (2010)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sterlic/4299631538

"Crochet Eyeball" by Net, all rights reserved (2008)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/quoin/2815208617

"Falling Jellyfish" by Joe Flood, some rights reserved (2006)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeflood/84125419

"Draining Again" by darkday, some rights reserved (2014)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/drainrat/14017447697

"Pack" by Nick, all rights reserved (2012)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/blank_canvas_photograpy/8154329078

Published in: Marketing, Internet, Technology

12 Exciting New Ways of Advertising for Publishers (Or: What Will Replace the Display Banner?)

  1. advertising for Or: what will replace the display banner? 12 exciting new ways of digital publishers
  2. Display ads are by far the biggest source of income for online publishers Currently
  3. • medium rectangle • half-page • leaderboard • and possibly hundreds of more obscure types (You may or may not have noticed them depending on your banner blindness..) There’s the
  4. online conversion rates are dropping Digital ad incomes are huge while But, and this is no secret…
  5. • 8% of the users account for 85% of clicks on banners (and some of them aren't even humans) • The average click-through rate of display ads is 0.1% • About 50% of clicks on mobile ads are accidental
 • You are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad ”10 Horrifying Stats About Display Advertising” on Hubspot Some horrifying statistics
  6. Display banners are often obtrusive and don’t enhance or integrate with the overall experience well enough What’s going wrong here?
  7. With today’s ‘everything online is open and free’ standard, publishers struggle to find the sweet spot for just-enough advertising The online playing field
  8. 'Just-enough’ ads you say? Generally, Ads lower the perception of quality of the content, their distractive nature makes the brand feel cheaper.
  9. More cognitive load means harder on the eye From a user experience standpoint, banners are noisy;
  10. banner blindness is getting more prevalent meaning increased risk Also, of missing crucial interface elements (potentially poor usability, less traffic etc.)
  11. The increasing popularity of ad blockers is evidence that banners are a nuisance to many internet users. 
 23% of Americans are using ad blockers, expected growth 45% per year. pagefair.com At the same time
  12. (Maybe.) ! Although something can be said for the user experience being ignored for too long (Leaving out any of the privacy / tracking issues people might have.) Are ad blockers unfair?
  13. (Btw, site’s are responding to this…) via littebigdetails.com iconmonstr.com
  14. the display banner as we know it is nearing the end of its life span ‘Sad’ news buh-bye!
  15. many advertisers, together with publishers, are rethinking online branding, let’s take a look at 12 concepts… However
  16. From conversion to branding Advertising concept 1
  17. * see our blogpost on emotional design There’s a rise of beautiful and emotional* online advertising that conveys the brand identity more effectively qz.nl
  18. Even though the ad is huge, it doesn’t ruin the experience because of the visual attractiveness and the positioning qz.nl
  19. ”[These ads feel] intuitive for readers and lets Aziz Hasan, creative director at Say Media (digiday.com) advertisers keep the authenticity of [their] brand,”
  20. WeTransfer knows how to let advertisers to make the brands ‘pop’ while maintaining the core feature simple & convenient wetransfer.comMany of the ads don’t invite click-through at all. A flaw?
  21. Vox’s huge Triton ad uses a depth effect; while scrolling the ad moves slower, hence it’s longer visible polygon.comThe visual effect of layers imitating ‘layering’ and thereby depth is also called the ‘parallax scrolling’. 1 2 3 4
  22. (A bit like a micro-site) Devil Ad has developed an ad format that can be placed next to an article devilad.nl
  23. Advertisers can pitch their story more elaborately with visuals, text, video’s or other interactive elements ! By not squeezing the message in a small box, this format it feels more integrated Critical note: this format excels when there’s a column to spare, it doesn't scale that well to smaller screen sizes though. devilad.nl
  24. Visual noise is kept at a minimum even though the photography is larger. In the end, size does and does not matter. The thing is
  25. This is digital space. There’s no need to repeat the formulas of print, to fight over pixels as if we’re limited by the medium’s ‘size’. ! Let’s search for appealing digital native formats instead.
  26. Swipecube (Mobile) advertising concept 2
  27. AdGibbon has developed a mobile-first format, Swipecube, which contains content in 4 ‘sides’ that can be swiped through
  28. Thus creating an efficient use of space in which advertisers can express more with less visual noise Critical note: the swiping is very much a hidden feature at the moment. This affordance could be communicated more clearly.
  29. Snap banners (Mobile) advertising concept 3
  30. The Snap banner sticks to the bottom of the screen while the page content scrolls past Used in the Entertainment Weekly redesign (by Global Moxie)
  31. When scrolling beyond a certain point the banner is ‘parked' in the page
  32. When tapping the banner, the ad opens in a full- screen modal window so the user doesn’t leave the article directly
  33. For advertisers the banner’s ’stickiness' is attractive because it’s more likely to be 'above the fold’* ! For users it’s presumably more acceptable because it’s tiny and doesn’t interrupt the content (too much) * Don’t get us started about what we REALLY think about ‘the fold’ in the digital media context.
  34. Display ads in Google Advertising concept 4
  35. Google (the godfather of modest advertising) has been experimenting with display banners. It’s no accident that some clean photography was used Still, the project was plugged (Seodesk)
  36. Interactive banners Advertising concept 5
  37. On Quartz user are invited to sign-up, they directly engage with the brand on the publisher’s site qz.com
  38. The user is triggered by a question and can submit contact information, all within the site qz.com
  39. After submitting the form, there’s a confirmation. Still, the user doesn’t leave the site until (s)he clicks on ‘Learn more’ qz.com
  40. Some WeTransfer ads are also interactive: here people can freely click through to a slideshow, before they choose to leave the site wetransfer.com
  41. With Time’s ”magnetic ads” brands can use the left column as navigation for the right column. time.com
  42. On a side-note, don’t add tech for tech’s sake* Instead, integrate interactivity with the story, make it meaningful. (* Like with the The crowdsourced 3d printed QR code drone delivery ticket system)
  43. Prestitials Advertising concept 6
  44. Forbes uses a ads called prestitials, banners that appear before the actual content is shown forbes.com
  45. With their (light-hearted) addition of a "Thought Of The Day” this design pattern should be little more agreeable for users
  46. Why display such a traditional small and static banner in an otherwise empty canvas? Also, the Forbes website is already chock full of noisy banners, so this addition might lower the acceptance towards ads even more. Still, this can use some tender loving care…
  47. Advertorials Advertising concept 7
  48. BuzzFeed work closely with advertisers and create viral content for their website. buzzfeed.com
  49. Because science. According to the principle of reciprocity delivering valuable content generates a sense of gratitude (and, possibly, debt) towards the advertiser. ”But why would Mini sponsor an article which has that little to do with the product?” ISBN-13: 978-0061241895
  50. NRC.nl Look, integration!
  51. On nrc.nl the commercial blends in nicely with the editorial content. ! However (1) Mixing the two can affect a company’s credibility and integrity, this can be particularly troublesome for news corps like NRC (2) Google tends to rank sites that don’t or poorly separate commercial from editorial content lower* * searchengineland.com
  52. Sponsored content Advertising concept 8
  53. Sponsored content in a yet subtle and elegantly form theatlantic.com
  54. Sponsored content in a yet subtle and elegantly form qz.com
  55. Advertiser buy only the association with the article Common on TV: ”This program is brought to you by…” chicagotribune.com
  56. Another way of jumping the ‘ad-less era bandwagon’ while maintaining an online presence. Well played, Shuttershock. thenextweb.com
  57. Sponsored channels Advertising concept 9
  58. On Forbes people can follow authors to get a personalised news stream forbes.com
  59. They extended this to branded channels which boosts engagement E.g Dell and NetApp are making use of this forbes.com
  60. Follows the Twitter-model, which in turn also supports all kinds of sponsored content twitter.com
  61. Sponsored features Advertising concept 10
  62. Like an annotation feature, which can of course be slightly branded Help building features that people can appreciate qz.com
  63. The official FIFA app has quite a few subtle sponsored features www.fifa.com/mobile Sponsoring features has an opportunity to grow
  64. No ads, when paying Advertising concept (?) 11
  65. Either the advertiser or the user pays for the content: there’s a clear choice Relies on the goodwill of readings wanting to support their favourite site thenextweb.com
  66. The Chocolat application switches to Comic Sans after the trial period A designer’s biggest nightmare littlebigdetails.com
  67. No ads, … EVER Advertising concept (?) 12
  68. De Correspondent offers paid subscriptions but everything’s accessible for anyone That is: anyone who has the link, preferably via a subscriber decorrespondent.nl
  69. To summarise… The future is exiting!
  70. Know any other great examples? Mail us at evan@sodastudio.nl • There are no absolutes (if there ever were any) of what works to best in which situation • It’s up to advertisers, publishers and designers to discover the perfect solution • Granted, developing new formats costs a lot more effort and money than your average banner • But we think (while display banners are losing relevance) that the potential and possible learnings should outweigh this • We wish all of you good luck with your innovations!

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