A week after the Interactive Advertising Bureau unveiled its new standard ad suite, washingtonpost.com rolled out three new ad units, including larger and flashier executions.
The Washington Post site will now offer “leader board” ads, which were endorsed as a standard ad unit by the IAB. The 728 x 90 pixel ads, pioneered by CNET Networks, are large horizontal executions that fill the entire Web page below the masthead. Washingtonpost.com will also offer what it calls brand launch units, which enlarges when a user arrives at a page and then returns to a small header. Finally, the site buffed up its billboard ads, which frame the bottom of the screen while a user scrolls, adding Flash capabilities.
“The new ad units are an important part of our commitment to offering a powerful interactive advertising experience,” said Christopher Schroeder, washingtonpost.com’s chief executive and publisher. “Having great audience is essential, but we must also use the Web’s unique capabilities to offer the most compelling advertising formats.”
Washingtonpost.com is running a leaderboard campaign for MSN; brand launch ads from the American Plastics Council; and enhanced billboards for Covad and Anheuser-Busch.
The new ad formats follow the general industry trend to larger, more intrusive online advertising. Last week, the IAB proposed a suite of four standard ad units, which would allow an advertiser to create a single ad to run across a variety of sites. For the most part, the ad units were bigger and bolder, while the standard 468 x 60 banner was conspicuously absent.
They join washingtonpost.com’s other ad formats, which include skyscrapers, big boxes, and pop-unders. The site drew about 5.5 million unique visitors in September making it the ninth largest news site, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
Along with other major newspapers’ Web sites, washingtonpost.com has reported buoyant advertising revenues. Schroeder said the site’s ad revenues have grown 50 percent so far this year. In August, the site began requiring users to answer a three-question survey of personal information, so that it could better offer advertisers a targeted audience.