What is it?
A new set of online ad formats for the industry
Why do we need it?
Some online ads aren’t great, by which we mean they aren’t very polite to consumers. They may, in fact have the opposite intended effect and galvanize a consumer into blocking all digital advertising as a result. At the same time, the dozens of screen sizes nowadays means it is harder for brands to create ads that work seamlessly on all, so the new portfolio of ads addresses both issues - improving the consumer experience and making it easier to create ads for all screens.
How will it solve the issues?
First up - the new formats are defined by aspect ratios (think 1 Tetris block wide by 4 high) instead of fixed pixel sizes so they can adapt to different screen sizes. Fewer, adaptable ad sizes, just a neat set of ratio based formats.
Secondly - they meet some of the LEAN principles - which means they are light in file size but scalable and they are encrypted for online security, they are Ad Choices-enabled giving consumers more control and non-invasive - they are less interruptive. In a nutshell, this means they are well brought up and well-mannered ads.
Thirdly - at the heart of all this is quality - the formats are designed with a clear aim to improve ads produced, and to make it easier to produce good ads for consumers. Some ads are already great, but not all.
And finally - because everyone is asking– during the consultation period mobile interstitials are allowed if they conform fully to the requirements listed here (page 11).
When does it kick in?
The formats launched end of September 2016 at the IAB MIXX Conference but they aren’t going to shake up ad production everywhere just yet. There’s an open consultation period for feedback from anyone in the industry until 28 November 2016 and then the working group will review the comments and finalise the formats early ’17. The formats need to work, so there’s time to check with industry and tweak before the ink is dry.
You can read all about the new online ad portfolio here.
If you are a publisher or a media agency – once you’ve read all the information above, feed in any comments as noted below, and contact your local IAB to see whether you can assist in live testing.
If you are an advertiser - awareness is key, so it's important to understand the background and the formats as they stand.
If you are a creative agency - HTML5 is critical, so if there are gaps in knowledge and how to work with responsive formats, now is the time to brush up
I’ve got more questions…
The IAB New Ad Portfolio microsite hosts the Draft for Public Comment, Transition Guidance Document, and Visual Examples of the new ad units and below are more helpful links.