27 Huge Publishers Join To Replace The Banner

27 publishers with a reach of about 109 million unique visitors per month — that’s 66% of the total U.S. Internet audience — have agreed to try one of three new online ad formats sometime before July. The publishers are all members of the online publishers association (OPA).

Here’s how an OPA rep described the units:

  • The Fixed Panel (recommended dimension is 336 wide x 860 tall), which looks naturally embedded into the page layout and scrolls to the top and bottom of the page as a user scrolls.
  • The XXL Box (recommended dimension is 468 wide x 648 tall), which has page-turn functionality with video capability.
  • The Pushdown (recommended dimension is 970 wide x 418 tall), which opens to display the advertisement and then rolls up to the top of the page.

The formats they’ve agreed on all have one trait in common: they are much bigger and more attention-grabbing than the banner, which is despised by publishers, advertisers and readers alike as an ad unit.

This heatmap image from a 2007 eye-tracking study is perhapst the best illustration of why publishers and advertisers hate banners:

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Here’s what the Pushdown unit looks like closed and then open:

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The OPA wasn’t able work up any mocks for the other two new ad formats, but from what we can tell, they’ll look remarkably similar to the units VideoEgg mocked-up for a recent presentation on the future of online advertising:

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The 27 participating publishers are:

  • BabyCenter
  • Bizjournals
  • Bloomberg
  • BusinessWeek
  • CBS Interactive
  • CNN
  • Condé Nast Digital
  • Discovery Communications
  • ESPN
  • Forbes.com
  • FOXNews Digital
  • IDG
  • iVillage Network
  • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
  • Meredith Interactive
  • msnbc.com
  • MTV Networks
  • NBC Universal
  • New York Media
  • The New York Times
  • Reed Business Information
  • Reuters, Time Inc.
  • USA Today
  • The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
  • Weather.com

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