CYBERCRITIQUE: British Airways thinks big, lands short of interactivity

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MARKETER: British Airways


CRITIQUE: Saying a lot in a little space is a difficult task, something that's always been a limitation of banners. Saying just a little in a lot of space is much easier.

Some sites and advertisers seem to have decided that the only thing wrong with banners is the small space. The answer then is hard to miss: Make them really, really big. Like huge. Like Boeing 777, physics-defying how-does-that-thing-get-off-the-ground size.

British Airways has a pretty big message to deliver, and so it's blasting it in an over-sized, 615-pixel-tall ad. That's about three times the size of a standard banner.

It's big news for BA's frequent fliers that its elite classes now can take advantage of a massage, a minigym and showers -- at the airport lounge.

Because they have so much space to work with, BA can say it all without making anyone wait for a single rotation. The entire message is right there, laid out on the surface, just like a big print ad.

Merely porting a print ad to a banner, as BA does in this case, fails to tap the advantages of interactivity. But if other sites start using these megabanners, creatives will be able to put more resources into them and introduce even more interactive functionality into ads, without the space problems presented by a standard, half-size 234 by 60 banner.

As long as publishers and art directors can get over the aesthetic nightmare of ads this size hogging valuable screen real estate, this format is sure to take off on more sites.

WHO CREATED IT:'s i-traffic, New York.

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