Since 2009 leading brand publishing representatives for the Online Publishers Association (OPA) have been requesting larger digital ad portfolio units and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a corporate juggernaut consisting of over 500 top notch media and technology firms and recognized for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States, has finally decided to meet the demand despite showing up late to the game. During the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting “Ecosystem 2.0: Beyond Time and Space,” 6 new interactive digital advertising units were released including the “Rising Stars Display.” The architects of these units are AOL/Pictela, DoubleClick/Google, MediaMind and Microsoft Advertising.
Recently reappointed CEO and President of IAB, Randall Rothenberg, states that these ad units are more advantageous in that they “…allow creatives to tell bigger, bolder brand stories” and “…offer more space, greater functionality, and a broader range of user experiences—providing a collection of next-generation interactive canvases designed to leverage the rich, immersive benefits of digital.” New unit sizes (970×250 Billboard, the 970×90 Pushdown and the 300×600 Filmstrip, among others) were tested by several IPG Media Lab agencies and clients like Jeep and AT&T who observed that their customers were slightly more likely (2.5% increase) to opt to interface with the Rising Stars unit than previous IAB products medium rectangle, wide sky, and leaderboard. What is more impressive is that consumers tended to spend twice as much time interacting with the new ads and evidenced quicker reaction times. Clinical testers also found the ads to be more “entertaining” and resulted in an increase of positive perceptions about the Web sites and the respective brands they were marketing.
After viewing the differences between the layouts of these ad portfolios I have concluded that the preference for more spacious layouts is rooted in the user’s desire to view and synthesize information at a rapid pace. The eye tracking research that was employed throughout the development of these products proved to be helpful in making brands stick within the minds of consumers.