On the one hand, Ad Lightning’s “The Ad Quality Report for Publishers” found that “41 percent of tracked ads surpassed the (Interactive Advertising Bureau’s) approved maximum, which is 200 (kilobytes) or less for banner ads and 300 KB or less for display ads.” On average these ads exceeded IAB specifications by a magnitude of four!
Furthermore, “Processor-intensive ads, often video ads, can also cause page delays … exceeding IAB’s limit of 300 milliseconds to render,” the report stated.
Obviously, these flaws can hamper the user experience — and lead consumers impatiently to click elsewhere. That does brands and publishers a disservice, nevermind the most important stakeholder — the consumer herself.
On the other hand, the pressure to go bigger with ads, at least in pixels, appears to be growing, based on cost-per-thousand (CPM) data in Choozle’s white paper, “Digital Advertising Findings & Best Practices Whitepaper.” Where physical size of digital display ads are concerned, 200×200 and 300×600 (pixels) ads have the highest CPM values — with retargeted display ads “had the highest ranked CPM value at $18, nearly five-times more so than any other ad targeting strategy.” Retargeting and contextual targeting generate higher click-through rates, too, over IP and data targeting — though the latter interestingly commands a CPM premium.
Takeaway? If bigger is indeed better in performance, then let’s make sure that the ads delivered are people-friendly. IAB’s LEAN Principles — light, encrypted, AdChoices-enabled, non-invasive — and other IAB ad specifications are intended to protect the overall consumer experience. That also protects brands and publishers. All parts of the programmatic ad supply chain ought to educate themselves quickly about how to enable a better CX, before she clicks herself away.