A new (old school) upgrade for display advertising

Thursday, March 31, 2011 | 11:51 PM

Labels: , ,

Today we’re excited to unveil a significant upgrade to our display advertising offerings for marketers.

In 2008, we launched a product to make display advertising easier and more accessible, called Display Ad Builder. Display Ad Builder provides very simple and engaging templates for display ads (including images, videos and more), that can be run across the 2 million-plus sites in the Google Display Network. It’s been a real hit - 100 new advertisers use Display Ad Builder every day, 80% of whom have never run a display ad campaign before.

Now, many of these advertisers have become seduced by the possibilities of today’s display advertising - and realize that they missed the glory days in the late 1990s and 2000s.

So today, we’re helping them make up for lost time, by unveiling “old school” ad units in Display Ad Builder.

The formats available are as follows:

  • “Punch the Monkey” - using the latest interactive technology, you can invite users to punch on a monkey that moves randomly through the ad unit, to learn more about your product.
  • “Click here for smileys” - put a smile on your users’ faces - literally! Your brand can offer potential consumers the chance to click on smiley faces that they can insert into their “instant messaging” conversations (available for Internet Explorer and Netscape browsers only).
  • “LOLcat” - cash in on the craze by creating an ad unit containing a photo of a cute cat with a funny message. Great for brand association.
  • “Dancing .gif” - what’s funnier than some dance moves in your browser? This is a 180 x 150 unit containing a funky animated .gif image, under which you can include a tailored message.
  • “Congratulations, you’ve won” - using modern text to speech technology, you can speak directly to your users. This ad is a video format, set to auto-play, that yells out “Congratulations, you’ve won!” repeatedly to the user. If a user clicks to stop the video, they are redirected to your website.
  • “Pop ups galore” - Google prohibits pop-up ads - until now! This ad format causes the user’s browser to open multiple browser windows, each containing a different message about your brand. You can customize the number of windows you want to open - up to 20. Users will love it!
  • “Scratch off” - this is a supersized leaderboard banner ad which invites a user to hold their mouse button down and “scratch” across, to reveal an underlying message promoting your brand (such as “You are the 10,000th visitor to our site!”).


The templates for these ads are very easy to customize within Display Ad Builder. You only need a basic working knowledge of Fortran.

For these “old school” templates, we’ve done a lot of work to ensure that running a campaign evokes the charm of earlier years. You simply create your ads, then fax us a form, listing what sites and URLs you’d like these ads to run on, what time of day, and how many impressions. We will then send you a quote. You sign the quote and hand-write in the registration number of each of the ads and presto! Your ads can be live within 8 to 10 weeks.

These ads will deliver great results, and make users’ experience with online advertising far better and more immersive. Early studies show they have a very significant impact on brand recall.

We’re really excited about this announcement. Rich media ads and dynamic creative ads may be buzzy at the moment, but nothing beats the simplicity and nostalgic elegance of older display ads. We’re bringing smart and sexy back.