Saturday, January 06, 2007

Online Advertising: Advertising Units & Options

Following up on my last post where I had explained the terms used in buying of Online Advertising. In this post I am attempting to explain the Advertising units, sizes & Options.

Advertising Units

A digital image is made of basic units called pixels. Advertising Units on the Internet are called "Banners" and are measures & expressed in the same standard measuring unit - pixels. This is also the same unit that measures resolution / screen size of any Computer Monitor. The most commonly used resolutions in India are 800 x 600 pixels and 1024 x 768 pixels. The first number always indicates the number of horizontal pixels.



Indiatimes Home Page - 230 X 250


Advertising units can be placed in various sections of a Website – like Homepage, specific section pages etc.

ROS(Run of Site): This refers to placing ads across different sections on the site on a random basis. Websites take ROS ads for non premium sections / pages of their websites.


Publishers offer use of various high impact & innovative advertising units in addition to the normal ad banners. Few such innovative options are:

Site captures / Interstitials: Ad formats that interrupt sequential content, forcing exposure to the advertisement before visitors can continue on their content path. Interstitials are a form of interruption marketing. This quality appeals to advertisers who feel Web advertising needs to be more like a broadcast medium to be effective.
Few Indian sites that allow Site captures are Indiatimes, MoneyControl, Exchange4Media etc.

Pop ups / Pop unders

Expandable Banners: See the following image for example of expandable banner. In this the banner loads as 4 times its contracted size (180 X 150 pixels) and then settles down back to 180X150 after playing the advertisement.

Shoshkeles / Floaters: Browser driven, platform agnostic, sound enabled, free moving forms. These do not require plug-ins, and there is no discernable download for users.

Click here for an example of Shoshkele on

In the absence of any standards each publisher is deciding their own sizes. As a consequence, there are just too many sizes of advertisements floating around. There is a need to have few standard sizes to make life simpler for Advertisers & Agencies.