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Banners – bigger not better?

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday August 21, 2009 )

A study of over 2,300 online display campaigns running over the past three years has found that bigger ads are not always better.

The study, carried out by Dynamic Logic and reported by Media Post, found half banners (234 x 60 pixels) and rectangles (180 x 150 pixels) were more effective than leaderboards and skyscrapers.

The reason? Dynamic Logic researchers say the smaller display ads are more easily integrated into the content of web pages.

I’d certainly agree with that. I’ve been surfing much of the day and can’t remember a single leaderboard ad. Joe surfer is pretty familiar with these placements and I think they just don’t register. Additionally, with people in so much of a rush these days, they are focused more on the content, rather than what surrounds it. By placing the ad in the content, between paragraphs for instance, it’s interruptive – it’s more likely they’ll spot an ad and it will register.

I was digging around Dynamic Logic’s site and also came across a study from last year regarding the acceptance of “over content” advertising such as hover ads and popups. Everyone says they hate these formats, but it does seem they’ve become more accepted.

My experience has certainly been that this form of advertising, executed correctly (one of the keys is to not show them on every page load), is really effective. For example, popups increase subscriptions on every site I’ve used them on – and not just by a few percent, but at a minimum of 300% up to 600% – it’s never failed.


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