ESPN.com and several other publishers Advertising Age spoke with say the move to large ad sizes won't inhibit their offering advertisers a variety of formats on a custom basis.
"The larger sizes have worked very well as our objectives are around brand awareness," said Tom Lynch, head of online branding for banking and financial services company ING. "Our return on investment is higher with the bigger units, you're getting more real estate, you're placed in the editorial and you pay a premium for it." The large ad sizes command anywhere from a 75% to 100% premium over a standard banner ad. Omnicom Group's Tribal DDB, New York, created ING's online campaign, which includes a series of large ad units.
"Clients are attracted to the larger units and the results that they get. The demand is there right now," said Mark Mirsky, group strategy director, OMD Digital, New York, whose clients include ING, Absolut and Embassy Suites.
Quantitative research can determine the cost effectiveness of large ad-unit buys by illustrating how people interact with the ads, the length of time spent and other factors. Absolut uses Dynamic Logic research to determine the quality of interaction with its ads.