Skyscraper banners raise response to new heights

An online ad dubbed the 'skyscraper' is sending response rates rocketing, attracting clickthrough rates up to 10 times higher than traditional banners.

An online ad dubbed the 'skyscraper' is sending response rates rocketing, attracting clickthrough rates up to 10 times higher than traditional banners.

According to online media management firm Mass Transit Interactive (MTI), the extra-long vertical ads - which run down the right or left side of a web site - offer marketers a chance to make their message stand out in the cluttered world of banner ads.

Although not yet standardized, the 'skyscraper' is being widely adopted.

Jason Heller, CEO of Mass Transit Interactive, explained their popularity.

'They offer online real estate that an advertiser can use to graphically stand out. Their placement is eye-catching and constantly in the line of vision.'

NewsAlert.com, an online news and financial web site, has used the format on selected B-to-B sites such as Forbes.com and ClickZ.com

Daniel Schiplacoff, creative director at ClickZ, said, 'They offer the chance to use bigger and bolder graphics, which broadens the creative aspect and means we can make them more striking.'

According to MTI, which tracked and analyzed click-through data, banner ads placed on the same sites generated significantly lower response rates.

However, while response rates are higher, data show conversion rates are consistent with other ad types. According to Helle, the novelty factor plays a role. 'It is the newness at point of click that drags users in, but conversion rates are similar to other ads.'



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