Just an Online Minute... WashPost's New Units
As the IAB is trying to drum up support for their newly released set of standards (which have been a staple of some major sites’ ad offerings for months now), Washingtonpost.com is taking them a step further. The company today announced it has launched three new large format ad units they’re calling The Leaderboard, Brand Launch Unit, and Enhanced Billboard.
The Leaderboard looks like the IAB-approved 728X90 IMU and fills the entire width of the page just below the masthead, offering advertisers a tremendous amount of space in a very prominent position. You’ll see MSN using this thing as part of its launch of version 8.0. The Brand Launch Unit is a sponsorship placement, with a unique twist: when users visit a page containing this ad unit, they see a large ad that “rolls up” after a few seconds into the standard sponsorship position (you’ve probably seen similar things on Yahoo! in the last few weeks).
Finally, the Enhanced Billboard is something very few sites offer. These are the large format ads that sit at the bottom of a page and remain there even when a user scrolls down (much like what NetZero and its ilk used to do back in the day of free web access). Washingtonpost.com has recently added Flash technology to this ad unit, which attracted such advertisers as Covad and Anheuser-Busch.
You’ve seen all three of these formats on various sites in the past, but it’s encouraging to see one of the big boys put them to good use. Especially Washingtonpost.com, which is one of the very few sites out there that were lucky enough to record 50% revenue increases this past year, which means they’re doing something right.