Google has just introduced its enhanced AdSense program to a group of selected clients. Next to the well-known text ads, publishers can now incorporate more “eye-catching” ads (= blinking gif banners) in their site. Google limits the size of animated GIFs to 50 kilobytes, AdSense publishers need only opt-in to increase their money generating possibilities.
The feedback has been mixed so far, as Google’s price model is based on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis and advertisers claim, this model is not suitable for GIF banners, which can have a branding value even if consumers don’t click on them. For this reason, banners are traditionally sold based on cost-per-thousand impression basis.
When it gets to online advertising in general, the ad format 468×60 has always been a standard and could remain so for the upcoming years. But there are way prettier and more effective ad formats on the market, ie the “Leaderboard” with 728×90 and the “Skyscraper” with 120×600. A lot of well-known online-magazines use them: wired.com, slashdot.org, spiegel.de. These specific ad formats enable a less intrusive way of catching the visitor/consumer as they’re not directly embedded into the content but remain at the outer edges of a website.
I’d prefer interesting image ads more than those boring non-multimedia text ads. But when is advertising actually fun and catchy? The online advertising industry still has a long way to go.