Ad Banner Sizing
The banner ad has become the poster child for commercial online marketers. You know the one it's 468 pixels wide and 60 pixels high. When ad space is being sold on a website, it can only be successfully managed if you adhere to specific standards. This is an exact science governed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The IAB manage and recommend new and different banner sizes for Web pages; banners now come in many different standard sizes (see Figure 4).
Figure 4 IAB's online banner specs.
It can be a pain to remember all of the ad sizes. Fortunately, Macromedia has thought of this for us. Within Flash MX is a new technology called Flash Templates. The templates work in much the same way templates work in programs such as Microsoft Word. You will find that one set of templates is focused on just banners.
The different banner sizes that Flash Templates support are as follows:
- 468 x 60
- 250 x 250
- 500 x 500
- 180 x 150
- 240 x 400
- 300 x 250
- 336 x 280
- 120 x 600
- 336 x 280
Marketers are always finding new ways in which to engage users. With that said, the formats laid out here have become the standards. It is worthwhile to keep within these boundaries for a number of reasons:
Users are just familiar with them.
You will receive broader ad placement from different ad companies with these standards.
Take the size limitation as a challenge to extend the power of your Flash skills.
Flash gives you a number of ways in which to extend the experience that users have with your ad.
The ad in Figure 5 is one that is based upon the classic game Pong. The ad is a standard 250 x 250. The opener to the ad is the game with the company logo, an @ symbol, prominently placed in the Flash Movie. The placement of the company is not enough to deter you from playing the game. When you lose (and the game is programmed for you to loose at a certain point), you will see your final score and be treated to the company slogan. The company identity is quickly placed on the game player.
Figure 5 The Flash ad is a game and sales piece all in one.
The best part of this ad is that the whole thing is only about 4Kb, which is the file size of a basic JPEG banner, and this is much cooler.