Macromedia Flash, Java, dynamic HTML (dHTML), animation, and streaming media have taken internet ads from just words and pictures on a page to exciting, engaging, and cinematic motion. These technologies, dubbed “rich media,” are making the internet more like Times Square, TV, and games. Why? Consumers are better able to experience rich media due to broadband adoption. Ad networks have made the ads more affordable by reducing premiums for rich ads. And new capabilities by the ad-serving industry have reduced the complexity of running, tracking, and reporting ads (Dynamic Logic 2004).
Rich media ads also come in many shapes, sizes, and feature implementations. To simplify these, DoubleClick researchers describe most rich media executions by the following standard formats (Bruner and Gluck 2005, 5):
In-page: standard IAB ad unit shapes that may include advanced rich media functionality, such as embedded games, animation, video, registration forms, or interactive marketing brochures, and that may allow for larger file sizes through polite download technology.
Expandable: similar to in-page units, but they expand in size when a user moves the mouse over the ad or clicks to interact with it. Some publishers are experimenting with ads that automatically expand when the page loads, then retract after a small delay. These ads are sometimes called push-downs or server-initiated expandables.
Floating: ads that appear as a layer on top of the user’s current ...