The web banner is displayed when a web page that references the banner is loaded into a web browser. This event is known as an "impression". When the viewer clicks on the banner, the viewer is directed to the website advertised in the banner. This event is known as a "click through". In many cases, banners are delivered by a central ad server.
When the advertiser scans their logfiles and detects that a web user has visited the advertiser's site from the content site by clicking on the banner ad, the advertiser sends the content provider some small amount of money (usually around five to ten US cents). This payback system is often how the content provider is able to pay for the Internet access to supply the content in the first place.
Web banners function the same way as traditional advertisements are intended to function: notifying consumers of the product or service and presenting reasons why the consumer should choose the product in question, although web banners differ in that the results for advertisement campaigns may be monitored real-time and may be targeted to the viewer's interests.
Many web surfers regard these advertisements as highly annoying because they distract from a web page's actual content or waste bandwidth. (Of course, the purpose of the banner ad is to attract attention and many advertisers try to get attention to the advert by making them annoying. Without attracting attention it would provide no revenue for the advertiser or for the content provider.) Newer web browsers often include options to disable pop-ups or block images from selected websites. Another way of avoiding banners is to use a proxy server that blocks them, such as Privoxy.
HotWired was the first web site to sell banner ads in large quantities to a wide range of major corporate advertisers. Andrew Anker was HotWired's first CEO. Rick Boyce, a former media buyer with San Francisco advertising agency Hal Riney & Partners, spearheaded the sales effort for the company. HotWired coined the term "banner ad" and was the first company to provide click through rate reports to its customers. The first web banner sold by HotWired was paid for by AT&T, and was put online on October 25, 1994. Another source also credits Hotwired and October 1994, but has Coors' "Zima" campaign as the first web banner. The hotwired AT&T banner ad and credits can be viewed here. Banner ads tenth birthday
In May 1994, an early Internet commercialization pioneer, who mentored Boyce in his transition from traditional to online advertising, first introduced the concept of a clickable/trackable ad. He stated that he believed that only a direct response model—in which the return on investment of individual ads was measured—would prove sustainable over the long run for online advertising.
In spite of this prediction, banner ads were valued and sold based on the number of impressions they generated. This approach to banner ad sales proved successful and provided the economic foundation for the web industry from the period of 1994 to 2000 until the market for banner ads "crashed" and there was a radical revaluation of their value.
The new online advertising model that emerged in the early years of the 21st century, introduced by GoTo.com (later Overture, then Yahoo and mass marketed by Google's AdWords program), closely resembled the pioneer's 1994 projection.
|Rectangular and pop-up ads|| width by height|
|Large rectangle||336 by 280|
|Medium rectangle||300 by 250|
|Square pop-up||250 by 250|
|Vertical rectangle||240 by 400|
|Rectangle||180 by 150|
|Banner and button ads|
|Leaderboard||728 by 90|
|Full banner||468 by 60|
|Half banner||234 by 60|
|Button 1||120 by 90|
|Button 2||120 by 60|
|Micro bar||88 by 31|
|Micro button||80 by 15|
|Vertical banner||120 by 240|
|Square button||125 by 125|
|Thin Skyscraper||120 by 600|
|Standard skyscraper||160 by 600|
|Half-page||300 by 600|
JustDevelop.it Group Acquires and Re-Launches www.20dollarbanners.com, One of the Largest Web Banner Designers.
Oct 07, 2008; JustDevelop.it, an Internet business aggregator that develops synergistic companies offering ecommerce solutions, has acquired...
IO World Media Announces Significant Revenue Growth from Strategic Partnership with Net97 for the Management of www.radioio.com Web Banner Advertising Inventory.(Financial report)
Nov 20, 2010; IO World Media ("IOWorld" or "the Company") (Pink Sheets:IWDM) announced that it has seen significant, positive results from its...