DoubleClick Makes Banners Less Boring

NEW YORK Internet banner ads are a story of the haves and have-nots. At the top end of the market live highly interactive rich media units with full video capability, while at the lower end reside more uninteresting units limited by file size constraints.

DoubleClick hopes to change that with the introduction of a Web banner unit called the “teaser” ad, which allows marketers to create cheap banner ads that include about 10 seconds of auto-play video.

While not the full rich media units that typically occupy about a third of an online banner buy, they will allow agencies to build more creative executions for the rest of the campaign, said Chris Young, evp of rich media at DoubleClick. While the new ad will cost more than a standard unit with a 30k file limit, it will cost half as much as a full rich media execution, he said.

“It’s time to take creativity to the next level,” Young said. “We’re going to begin to change the rules of online ad banners.”

Once an afterthought in an Internet ad market dominated by search listings, the banner is a keen focus of attention as brand advertisers shift spending online. Gaining a foothold in display advertising drove several recent online deals, including Google’s $3.1 billion agreement to buy DoubleClick and Microsoft’s $6 billion purchase of aQuantive.

Young said the teaser format would help make the bulk impressions more compelling to consumers and advertisers—and more valuable.

Universal Pictures is using the new ad format to promote The Bourne Ultimatum, showing a quick 10-second trailer in the unit, which then gives users the ability to click through to view the full trailer from the movie’s Web site. A typical low-end execution would have only shown a static image, while one on the high end would let users watch the full preview and other clips from within the unit.

“All the creatives are always complaining about the file size” limits, Young said. “They say, ‘I’m limited to 30k. You want me to cut through the clutter, but how can I do that when my file size is so small?'”