The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Just a day after I note that the upcoming popup-blocking features in IE will put the final nail in the coffin of the popup ad format comes an update on the ever-growing online ad market.

It's a good overview of what's working as we approach 2004. Not surprisingly, interstatials--those page-embedded ads with animation and sound--are the most popular way to go. Advertisers are frothing at the mouth over the prospect of further incorporating rich media, i.e. full-motion video.

The use of [rich-media] ads surged in the second quarter, but they still made up just 6% of all ads, according to the IAB.

That share should continue to grow, said Allie Savarino, senior vice president of Unicast Communications Corp., which provides technology for several standardized rich-media ad formats. Unicast, based in New York, expects a tripling in volume of its full-page "superstitial" rich-media ad format in the first quarter of 2004 from a year earlier, Ms. Savarino said, and will see renewed interest from a new format that will display video at higher speeds than had been possible.

"In 2004, what you will see is [brand advertisers] finally saying, ``There are opportunities here that rival offline media,'" Ms. Savarino said.