Yahoo on Monday introduced
a new rich media ad format that borrows from the animated gifs
popularized on Tumblr.
The Yahoo Motion Ads offer high-quality brand images with a subtle bit of animation added to
give the ads a more lifelike appearance. As the launch advertisers for the ad unit, Kraft is running an ad on the Yahoo log-in page for Kraft Singles that uses animation to make it appear steam is
rising from a grilled cheese sandwich.
In addition to the log-in page, Yahoo Motion Ads are initially available in the Billboard Ad on the Yahoo home page, and on the home pages for
other sections of the site. Whether the ads will hold more appeal for Millennials because of their resemblance to quirky gifs encountered on Tumblr remains to be seen.
While adding a
new wrinkle, the ads are more squarely in the mold of traditional brand advertising on Yahoo as opposed to the Stream Ads launched last year. While the latter are more in line with the native
advertising zeitgeist, so far, they haven’t helped revive the company’s sagging display ad business.
The Yahoo Motion Ads play to brands’ desire for the kind of
high-impact ads on the home page the site has long been known for, yet have lately taken a back seat to the rollout of native ads, most recently on the new Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech sites.
The Motion Ads also have a lot in common with the Living Ads the company launched with its ill-fated Livestand app for the iPad in 2011. Those ads likewise suggested motion in otherwise
static images. In the new ad format, they live on.