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Summary:

One of primary reasons display advertising has been trending negative is because the ads are so easy to ignore. Most users have pop-up bloc…

One of primary reasons display advertising has been trending negative is because the ads are so easy to ignore. Most users have pop-up blockers, and the even if they don’t, the ads are often static and fairly bland. The effort to get display ads in front of internet users in a more prominent way, while also making sure they’re less visually offensive, is a major focus for many publishers.

One of the most prominent efforts is coming from Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Although the company is associated with the still-growing search-ad business, Google has been trying to build its display business through its DoubleClick unit. Last month, Google unveiled expandable display units, which open up when a user clicks on them.

At the same, the Online Publishers Association recently began testing new larger and more-interactive display formats among its 27 members. The three units in the test, which will be rolled out through July, are identified as

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  1. Most users have pop-up blockers? Where did this "factoid" come from?

  2. Ivan, pop-up blockers are a pretty common feature with newer versions of Firefox (and even Internet Explorer).

  3. David, it's sad that the state of the art in online advertising is bigger ads, as I wrote here: http://bit.ly/fqPE. This is especially true when it seems that bigger ads don't work any better: http://bit.ly/zwXEo

  4. David Polakoff Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Your last point is very significant; its not (necessarily) the form but the content. Ironically, my current posting is about commercial content, mostly focused on video content production. The ad agencies (and the client) need to do a much better job at creating provocative, attention grabbing commercial content (print, banner, video – whether website, television, or mobile). The consumer's so easily "ignore" ads because the content is not attention grabbing.
    http://davidpolakoff.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/a-commercial-message/

    Great piece, David. Thanks.

  5. Could the absence of relevance have anything to do with display advertising's poor performance? Perhaps consumers are tuning out display ads because they simply don't speak to their interests. Smart marketers are using personalized offers and products to boost their display ROI — it not only drives the metrics that matter most to them (clicks, conversions and revenue) but also improves their overall brand marketing. I'm betting consumers would prefer that marketers focus on the content within display ads first, then decide if the ads need to be bigger.

  6. David,
    This article has a good explanation for new ad sizes. But regardless of new big ad sizes and click thru, some people will look at these big ads and explore what they are about. What we will need to seek after testing is conversions.
    We, publishers, don't want to promote big ads with high click thru if people are not buying anything.
    As Lori mentioned, “relevance” and more than 2 different display creative ads rotating are more likely to engage people to do something with the advertiser than just looking at his site.

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