Industry insiders believe agencies, brands and publishers need to take steps to create and adopt drag-and-drop display ad units online -- or they risk losing dollars to offline and falling CPM prices.
The do-it-yourself ad units encourage publishers to "de-clutter" Web pages.
Peter Minnium, head of brand initiative at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, told MediaPost the approach works well on tablets and mobile phones. "We see it in interstitial full-page ads that sit between content on tablets and mobile phones," he said. "We hope this will encourage desktop publishers to de-clutter the page."
The ad units, based on the IAB's Rising Stars program, were created to revamp antiquated industry standards. Now Minnium wants tech companies to build "do-it-yourself ad-maker kits," so those who build brands can concentrate on the design. A few companies have begun to develop platforms, he said.
"The majority of ad units still follow old IAB standard, and only 7% are custom," Minnium said, calling the new ad units a piece of real estate with specific behavior. "I'm certain if more companies adopt this new practice, the ad units would solve ad blindness."
Plug-and-play ad units are akin to easy-to-scale, repeatable ad formats. The strategy follows what Microsoft did for Web Services, allowing companies like Oracle to build one function in a module that it could plug into numerous applications, thereby creating the same results for different applications.
The project aims to draw the consumer to the one ad on the page integrating search, audio, video or other social elements, but also support the ad industry's "scarcity" initiative to help raise CPMs and conversion rates.