IAB Announces Competition to Create New Ad Formats

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Hoping to "fuel online creativity and move brand marketing dollars to interactive" and spitting in the face of the notion the banner is dead, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, standards body for interactive advertising formats, is, for the first time, hosting a competition to develop new online advertising units.

IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg said, "We are launching a formal call to action today for creatives, technologists, publishers, marketers - the entire advertising and marketing ecosystem - to bring us their best ideas for ad formats. The Internet has opened a floodgate of creativity, and it is critical that we fashion an environment where both the art and science of advertising can flourish and deliver engaging experiences that resonate with consumers and build brands."

The organization is calling on companies and individuals to submit their ad format candidates to a selection process led by agency creative directors, media executives and ad operations specialists, who will judge the ad formats for their potential to increase brand equity. The ad unit submissions will be evaluated on the following specific criteria:

- Branding - How well does the ad format provide a canvas for brand creativity?
- User Experience - How does the ad format positively impact user experience?
- Functionality - How does the ad format take advantage of online user behaviors and technologies?
- Page Integration - How does the ad format enhance the relationship between the ad and publisher page layout?
- Adoption - How easily could the ad format be widely adopted by publishers?

Commenting on the move, Mullen Chief Creative Officer, IAB Task Force Member and active social media participant Edward Boces said, "Mullen is thrilled that the IAB is including leading agencies in the development of new, more innovative interactive ad formats. With all the new developments in social media, sharing and consumer participation, there's a huge opportunity to make online ads more effective both at building brands and inciting engagement."

He's right. The traditional banner is mostly dead. The difficult part will be to develop advertising formats that don't go too far or cross the editorial line as some feel Forbes' just-announced "blog-for-sale" AdVoice program. We once sat firmly in the strict separation of church and state camp a while back trashed an advertising model that paid people to write posts about brands.

Today, as more brands begin to provide and create content of their own, rather than just sponsor it (yea, we've heard of soap operas so this isn't all that new), we've softened out viewpoint on the issue. But, it will be a slippery slope.

Time will tell but change is needed. We just all have to give the time it will take and accept the fact things will be in turmoil for a while. So help the IAB out. Offer up your suggestions, The industry needs your help.

by Steve Hall    Sep-27-10   Click to Comment   
Topic: Online, Policy, Promotions   

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