Web banner

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A web banner or banner ad is a form of advertising on the World Wide Web. 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. The advertisement is constructed from an image (GIF, JPEG, PNG), JavaScript program or multimedia object employing technologies such as Silverlight, Java, Shockwave or Flash, often employing animation, sound, or video to maximize presence. Images are usually in a high-aspect ratio shape (i.e. either wide and short, or tall and narrow) hence the reference to banners. These images are usually placed on web pages that have interesting content, such as a newspaper article or an opinion piece.

Typical web banner, sized 468×60 pixels.

The web banner is displayed when a web page that references the banner is loaded into a web browser. This event is known as an "impression". When the viewer clicks on the banner, the viewer is directed to the website advertised in the banner. This event is known as a "click through". In many cases, banners are delivered by a central ad server.

When the advertiser scans their logfiles and detects that a web user has visited the advertiser's site from the content site by clicking on the banner ad, the advertiser sends the content provider some small amount of money (usually around five to ten US cents). 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.

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, although web banners differ in that the results for advertisement campaigns may be monitored real-time and may be targeted to the viewer's interests.

Many web surfers regard these advertisements as highly annoying because they distract from a web page's actual content or waste bandwidth. (Of course, the purpose of the banner ad is to attract attention and many advertisers try to get attention to the advert by making them annoying. Without attracting attention it would provide no revenue for the advertiser or for the content provider.) Newer web browsers often include 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.


[edit] History

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 and McAuliffe, a now defunct law firm with a Silicon Valley office.[citation needed] GNN was the first commercially supported web publication and one of the very first web sites ever.[citation needed]

HotWired was the first web site to sell banner ads in large quantities to a wide range of major corporate advertisers. Andrew Anker was HotWired's first CEO. Rick Boyce, a former media buyer with San Francisco advertising agency Hal Riney & Partners, spearheaded the sales effort for the company.[1] HotWired coined the term "banner ad" and was the first company to provide click through rate reports to its customers. The first web banner sold by HotWired was paid for by AT&T, and was put online on October 25, 1994.[citation needed] Another source also credits Hotwired and October 1994, but has Coors' "Zima" campaign as the first web banner.[2] The hotwired AT&T banner ad and credits can be viewed here.Banner ads tenth birthday

In May 1994, an early Internet commercialization pioneer, who mentored Boyce in his transition from traditional to online advertising, first introduced the concept of a clickable/trackable ad. He stated that he believed that only a direct response model—in which the return on investment of individual ads was measured—would prove sustainable over the long run for online advertising.

In spite of this prediction, banner ads were valued and sold based on the number of impressions they generated. This approach to banner ad sales proved successful and provided the economic foundation for the web industry from the period of 1994 to 2000 until the market for banner ads "crashed" and there was a radical revaluation of their value.

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), closely resembled the pioneer's 1994 projection.

[edit] Standard sizes

Ad sizes have been standardized to some extent; they are:[3]

Rectangular and pop-up ads width by height
(in pixels)
Large rectangle 336 by 280
Medium rectangle 300 by 250
Square pop-up 250 by 250
Vertical rectangle 240 by 400
Rectangle 180 by 150
3:1 Rectangle 300 by 100
Pop-under 720 by 300
Banner and button ads
Leaderboard 728 by 90
Full banner / Impact banner 468 by 60
Half banner 234 by 60
Button 1 120 by 90
Button 2 120 by 60
Micro bar 88 by 31
Micro button 80 by 15
Vertical banner 120 by 240
Square button 125 by 125
"Skyscraper" ads
Thin Skyscraper 120 by 600
Standard skyscraper 160 by 600
Half-page 300 by 600

[edit] References

  1. ^ Reid, Robert H. (1997). Architects of the Web: 1,000 Days that Built the Future of Business. John Wiley & Sons. Chapter Seven: 'Hotwired - Publishing on the Web' (pp 300-308) ISBN 0471171875
  2. ^ Chapman, Merrill R., In search of stupidity: over 20 years of high-tech marketing disasters (2nd Edition) , Apress, ISBN 1-59059-721-4
  3. ^ "Ad Unit Guidelines". Interactive Advertising Bureau. http://www.iab.net/standards/adunits.asp. 

[edit] See also

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