A Responsive Ad Model

Mark Boulton on the challenges we face when incorporating traditional ad spaces into responsive layouts:

The template > slot > ad mental model is engrained both in advertisers, planners and web sites. Providing space for ads needs to be broadened into multiple spaces for one ad concept. This requires closer collaboration between advertisers and web sites, designers and marketeers and sales teams.

It’s clear that Mark has gotten his hands dirty working on a solution, and I like his idea for selling slot packages rather than single spaces. I could even see that instead of sending out the typical PDF diagram of ad slots and sizes, sales teams could point people to an actual responsive layout/template so they could see how their ad resizes and relocates within the site hierarchy at various widths.

What happens if ads become fluid and text is designed into the images or movies? Readability will certainly suffer, as will clicks. I wonder if advocating a similar image + HTML text approach much like The Deck or Fusion Ads would be a possibility. That may be a lot to ask, but if things need to be redefined, let us not be short-sighted.

5 Responses

Leave a comment or contact me via Twitter @TrentWalton

  • Chris Coyier

    I’m starting to play around with this idea on a very small scale. Treehouse is going to be the majority sponsor on CSS-Tricks coming up here soon for a number of months. So I needed their ads in the header and sidebar to work with my responsive design. Needs some work, but this is what I got so far: http://css-tricks.com/examples/v9.2Navigation/

  • Mark Battistella

    @Chris Coyier:
    Yeah I like that design, but in our website v3, we’re opting to go with image based ad banners and making them width 100% and height:auto to make it fluid..
    It’s not the best option, but it works. I guess in your situation, as well as the article that there’s a lot to consider in terms of fluid designs

  • Camilo Oliveira

    Hi Trent, I followed a tweet from smashing magazine and found your blog.

    I think your proposal is interesting, but when you have flash ads (always with fixed dimensions) it will not work. Maybe the option with packages could fit this issue better.

  • bob p

    Been thinking about this issue, too -- with 125x125 sidebar ads. Wondering if a placement like this would work somehow -- when you get to smartphone width

    So it might only show up in single post kind of pages -- it gets inset like a small image. Advantage is that it could use the same ad image. Lots of cons with this, though - what if you have 10 ads in the sidebar, for instance?

    Just a thought ...

  • Matthew Snyder

    Just saw this! Great stuff. We just put out an E-Book that has more to that as well... wanted to share. Regards.

Leave a Reply