Just an Online Minute... Leaderboards Beat Banners

Ever since the IAB suggested that online advertisers give bigger ad formats a try last year, major sites have been doing exactly that and the results are promising.

Especially for leaderboards -- the IAB-recommended 728x90 horizontal ads that appear at the top of a Web page and are 2.3 times larger than a traditional banner ad.

Online ad network Tribal Fusion today announced the results of a December 2002 test that shows its leaderboards performed on average 50% better than traditional 468x60 banner ads. Palm, Inc., Oracle Corporation, Nokia Corporation and Classmates Online, Inc. are among advertisers that run leaderboards on the Tribal Fusion network.

The test compared the performance of 728x90 leaderboards with the smaller 468x60 banners, using the same basic creative content. Click-through rates for the 728x90 ads came in between 40% and 125% better than the 468x60s. If click-through results aren’t enough (and they should never be), for campaigns that tracked post-click results, the larger creatives outperformed the banners by 30% to 50%, the test showed.

Advertisers seem to like these units well enough. MSN used leaderboards as part of its launch of version 8.0 on several sites, including, which made the leaderboard an official part of the site’s ad format offerings in December.

In response, a multitude of online publishers has already agreed to make these larger ads available, including AOL, CNET Networks Inc., CBS Marketwatch, The Excite Network, Internet Press Association, iVillage, MSN, New York Times Digital, Univision Online, The Wall Street Journal, and Yahoo!

Sometimes bigger is better.

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