Home  › Media › Media Buying
rising-stars-units

Ad Clutter Rises - 5 Ways to Fight It

  |  August 16, 2012   |  Comments

While we await the mass adoption of IAB Rising Stars ads and what will surely be a marked decrease in page clutter, how can we ensure that ours stand out?

When the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced its Rising Stars Ad Units in 2011, digital marketers took notice. Culled from publisher, agency, and technology company submissions, the new rich media units were intended to improve the display ad experience. Since the initiative first ran, the IAB has branched out to digital video and mobile media, and marketers now have at their disposal a host of new validated formats with which to work.

While advertiser creativity and user engagement were top of mind for those involved in developing and approving the new units, so too was prominence. Web pages had become woefully cluttered with all manner of ad placement, format, and size, and the Rising Stars units promised a solution. Bigger ads like Pushdowns, Sidekicks, and Sliders would mean fewer ads per page, and that would mean higher interaction rates. In fact, the IAB's research shows that consumers are two and a half times more likely to interact with a Rising Stars ad than a standard display ad, spend twice as much time with Rising Stars ads as standard formats, and react twice as quickly with mouse actions to the Rising Stars as to a standard banner.

So why are we still seeing so much clutter?

Visit a site at random and you're likely to find it overwhelmed by ads. Leaderboards and rectangles compete with full-page interstitials, making it nearly impossible to focus on the page content itself. In this kind of environment brands can't possibly achieve the level of prominence they desire. It's a cacophony that puts the publisher at risk of offending and upsetting its users. And yet the IAB's units still haven't managed to gain traction. Some speculate it's an issue of practicality; while many sites have already laid the groundwork for the units, new formats mean new resources, and rich media assets can be costly. Could brands just be slow to invest? Or perhaps the apparent delay comes down to campaign goals. Rich media ads aren't for everyone.

rising-stars-units

Whatever the reason, the units aren't taking off as quickly as we might have expected, and that leaves advertisers in a quandary. While we await the mass adoption of Rising Stars ads and what will surely be a marked decrease in page clutter, how can we ensure that ours stand out?

  1. Send a timely message. Ads that are specific to a season, holiday, or other timely cultural experience are more likely to garner consumer attention. Find ways to present your product or brand in the context of a current event.
  2. Avoid cheap tricks. Banners that flash, blink, or interrupt the site experience without the user's permission might get attention, but not the kind you're looking for. Stick with rich media that's user-initiated.
  3. Get personal. Use dynamic rich media to give consumers relevant ads (ads, for example, that take into account a user's current location or weather report). The more relevant the ad to a user's personal circumstances, the more likely she is to take note.
  4. Know your audience. Consumers are more likely to sit through a home page takeover for a new blockbuster movie than they are for a new brand of weed killer. Understand what your customer wants from your business, and deliver it in a way that makes sense for your brand.
  5. Give users choices. Allowing site users to select the video ad they'd like to see from among several choices, or determining whether they'd like to watch a video in full after viewing a clip in a banner ad, puts the consumer in control. And that's exactly where she wants to be.

There's no telling when we'll see a significant change in the way sites lay out their ads, but if the enthusiasm with which many major publishers and brands are already embracing Rising Stars is any indication, it won't be long now. In the meantime, at least we know that there are ways to rise above the clutter on our own.

Tags:

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tessa Wegert

Tessa Wegert is a business reporter and former media strategist specializing in digital. In addition to writing for ClickZ since 2002, she has contributed to such publications as USA Today, Marketing Magazine, Mashable, and The Globe and Mail. Tessa manages marketing and communications for Enlighten, one of the first full-service digital marketing strategy agencies servicing such brands as Bioré, Food Network, illy, and Hunter Douglas. She has been working in online media since 1999.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Resources

Jobs

    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...
    • Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager
      Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager (Smarty Had A Party) - St. LouisCompany Description: A warm, loving, [slightly wacky] startup, we view...