Online Banner Advertising
A web banner or banner ad is a form of advertising on the World Wide Web delivered by an ad server. This form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking to the website of the advertiser. In many cases, banners are delivered by a central ad server. This payback system is often how the content provider is able to pay for the Internet access to supply the content in the first place. Usually though, advertisers use ad networks to serve their advertisements, resulting in a revshare system and higher quality ad placement.
online banner advertising
Web banners function the same way as traditional advertisements are intended to function: notifying consumers of the product or service and presenting reasons why the consumer should choose the product in question, a fact first documented on HotWired in 1996 by researchers Rex Briggs and Nigel Hollis. Web banners differ in that the results for advertisement campaigns may be monitored real-time and may be targeted to the viewer's interests. Behavior is often tracked through the use of a click tag. Many web surfers regard these advertisements as annoying because they distract from a web page's actual content or waste bandwidth. In some cases, web banners cover screen content that the user wishes to see. Newer web browsers often include software "adblocker" options to disable pop-ups or block images from selected websites. Another way of avoiding banners is to use a proxy server that blocks them, such as Privoxy. Web browsers may also have extensions available that block banners, for example Adblock Plus for Mozilla Firefox, or AdThwart for Google Chrome and ie7pro for Internet Explorer.
The pioneer of online advertising was Prodigy, a company owned by IBM and Sears at the time. Prodigy used online advertising first to promote Sears products in the 1980s, and then other advertisers, including AOL, one of Prodigy's direct competitors. Prodigy was unable to capitalize on any of its first mover advantage in online advertising. The first clickable web ad (which later came to be known by the term "banner ad") was sold by Global Network Navigator (GNN) in 1993 to Heller, Ehrman, White, & McAuliffe, a now defunct law firm with a Silicon Valley office. GNN was the first commercially supported web publication and one of the first commercial websites.
The first central ad server was released in July 1995 by Focalink Communications, which enabled the management, targeting, and tracking of online ads. A local ad server quickly followed from NetGravity in January 1996. The technology innovation of the ad server, together with the sale of online ads on an impression basis, fueled a dramatic rise in the proliferation of web advertising and provided the economic foundation for the web industry from the period of 1994 to 2000. The new online advertising model that emerged in the early years of the 21st century, introduced by GoTo.com (later Overture, then Yahoo! and mass marketed by Google's AdWords program), relies heavily on tracking ad response rather than impressions.
Ad sizes have been standardized to some extent by the IAB. Prior to the IAB standardization, banner ads appeared in over 250 different sizes. However, some websites and advertising networks (outside the Eurosphere or North America) may not use any or all of the IAB base ad sizes. The IAB ad sizes as of 2007 are :
Standard web banners included into the IAB's Universal Package and Ad Units Guidelines  are supported by major ad serving companies. This is particularly relevant for IAB members such as Adform, AppNexus, Chitika, Conversant, Epom, HIRO, Mixpo, SpotXchange, ZEDO, and many others. Additionally, ad serving providers may offer other, non-standard banner sizes and technologies, as well as the support of different online advertising formats (e.g. native ads).
However, standard banner ad sizes are constantly evolving due to consumer creative fatigue and banner blindness. Ad companies consistently test performance of ad units to ensure maximum performance for their clients. IAB has updated its guideline bi-annually. Some publishers that are known for their unique, custom executions include BuzzFeed, CraveOnline, Quartz (publication), Thought Catalog, Elite Daily, Vice Media, Inc., Mic (media company), and many others. According to media research firm eMarketer, such types of custom executions through publisher direct buys are on the rise, with Native advertising spending to hit over $4.3 Billion by the end of 2015.
The use of web banners is not restricted to online advertising. Website designs often use non-advertising banners, also known as "hero images," for aesthetic reasons. Hero images are represented by large photos, graphics, or videos that are placed in the prominent sections of a website.
A "live banner" is a banner ad which is created dynamically at the time of display, instead of being pre-programmed with fixed content. Live banners are built using technologies such as Adobe Flash, Java, or Microsoft Silverlight, and usually employ animation together with text, images, graphics, sounds and video to catch the viewer's attention. Depending on the banner design, any of these multimedia elements may be defined as dynamic and therefore variable.
This banner ad example from Big Brothers Big Sisters demonstrates perfectly how the use of images can greatly enhance the emotional impact of your marketing materials. It sounds obvious, but this ad works largely because the images allow prospects to envision themselves working as big brothers and big sisters.
And speaking of Amazon, our next banner ad example comes from a company that helps make online shopping more affordable: Wikibuy. As you tell from this side-by-side banner, Wikibuy offers a price comparison browser extension that scans stores in search of the best deals.
Wikibuy uses a specific product to make their banner ad resonate more deeply with their prospects; UMass Dartmouth, in a similar vein, uses a specific person. This, in my opinion, is a textbook example of how you can take the satisfaction of your current customers (or students) and use it to win new customers (or students).
Here, thanks to Invisalign, we have another example of the curiosity gap. I have no idea what a smile assessment entails, but you better believe I want to find out. As Buzzfeed has proven time and again over the years, people go bananas for free online quizzes. If you can think of a way to create a free online quiz that pertains to your product or service, go for it!
A banner ad, also known as a display ad, is similar to a digital billboard in that it uses imagery (hence the term "banner") to attract attention with the goal of driving traffic to the advertiser's site.
A great banner ad grabs the reader's attention and invites them to learn more about what's being advertised. They're bright, welcoming, and don't have much text, instead using images or multimedia to convey a message. Check out this banner ad as an example:
Now let's look at it from the other side of the coin. Let's say you're an advertiser. You want to increase more visibility for your brand, so you want your ads to show up on high-trafficked websites that your target buyers visit. You pay the display network directly (rather than the publishing outlet) for ad placements, and you get to choose the types of websites your banner ads will display on. If effective, you get low costs per click, and this turns into real ROI for your business.
Banner ads fall into the category of digital advertising, one of the most lucrative ways to generate revenue. In fact, in 2019's first quarter, revenue from digital ads reached a landmark high of over $28.4 billion.
Because it's an auction-style system, the cost of a banner ads campaign will vary according to the display network you choose, the ad's size, how competitive your vertical is, the popularity and the nature of the website placements you earn, and more. However, according to WordStream, the cost per click for a banner ad on the Google Display Network averages around $0.58.
With this in mind, the better your bid, the easier it will be to meet your advertising goals. In many cases, the display network will help you optimize your budget and timeframe to get the most out of your ads.
Now that you have an idea of average banner ad price tags, you can imagine that ad placement and banner size have a big impact on how often your ads are seen and clicked on. Let's take a closer look at these two variables below:
While advertisers get a lot of latitude on which sites they appear on, they may not have a lot of control over where they appear on that site. On-page ad placement is in the hands of the publishing outlet. However, they do have a financial incentive to place ads in high-value locations. Remember, they get a "commission" from the display network. With that banner ads perform best when they're:
Let's say you have all the tools for creating your banner ad in place. While the actual execution of the design is up to you, it's important to incorporate these elements in your ad to make sure it's effective, and not just something that crowds up a webpage.
Some banner ads don't even have text or images at all, just a logo and a CTA. Though your ad doesn't need to be that minimalist, it doesn't need to have as much information as you may think. If your ad has more than one short sentence, it may be too much.
With the logo, an engaging call to action, and a simple design, all five points of an incredible banner ad are covered, and it's effective. For students browsing Amazon or professionals building their home office, this ad would be an excellent cater to them.
Providing all the specs of a car on a banner ad isn't possible without the ad looking too busy. Chevy chose to play with text in order to keep the information there without being overwhelming. Moreover, they chose essential information and wording to make sure the impact would be as great as it can be. 041b061a72