The ads, which initially show up as a banner filling the bottom of a Web page, allow users to collapse them into a small banner ad that hovers up on the left-hand side of the screen and remains there unless the user clicks off, or opts - for reasons that would likely depend on innovative creative executions - to expand it again.
David Lebow, CEO of Internet Broadcasting, says initial consumer testing is promising, but that the success of the new format ultimately would depend on the ingenuity advertisers and agencies bring to their messages.
He says the goal behind developing the new format was to give advertisers more flexibility to experiment with advertising messages on the Web sites of the TV stations that comprise Internet Broadcasting's network. He cites the kind of innovative advertising publishers like the NewYorkTimes.com have generated by developing new technology and formats, and by allowing advertisers to experiment with how they appear on its pages. The Mac vs. Microsoft character takeovers of the Times' pages were especially inspiring, Lebow says, adding that Internet Broadcasting plans to add rich media capabilities to the hover ads that would allow advertisers to create motion and action within the collapsible and expandable advertising units.
Internet Broadcasting works with some big broadcasting groups, and the Post-Newsweek Stations are among the first to begin using the new hover format, and Lebow says initial sales results have been very strong, and that station online sales executives are excited about its potential.