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.