Inner workings of a banner adBanner ads have come a long way since they first started making an impact on the Internet and web based businesses.  When banner ads were first created, they were mostly text based ads or .gif files that were coded with HTML links to products or websites.  Today, banner ads are much more than a picture file with code attached.  They come in the forms of media ranging from embedded videos to flash animations.  They have also changed from general advertizing to targeted advertising that is made for a specific customer base.  The following are some of the inner workings of the humble banner ad.

New Forms of Banner Ads

No longer do banner ads simply advertise a specific product or service, although they do that quite nicely.  Today, display ads are full of all sorts of new formats that entice and excite prospective customers into clicking on them.

Some of these new types of ads include:

  • Flash Animation
  • Hovering Ads
  • Embedded Videos
  • Maps

Flash Animation

Flash animation is a highly graphic animation that is played through the ad when a website is opened.  It continuously loops so the person browsing the web can see it in its entirety if a portion happens to be missed.  These banner ads come in a wide variety of formats from very large, encompassing the entire width of the page, to a small box on the side of a website.

Hovering Ads

The hovering ad is one of the most recent developments in website targeted advertising and has also become one of the most successful.  When a mouse moves over the ad, a flash animation may play or the ad become larger to allow the reader a better view of the advertisement.  When the mouse is moved off of the ad, it resumes its normal size.

Embedded Videos

Many banner ads now have a video embedded directly into it.  This video may be a current television advertising campaign or a full description of the product.  For instance, a vehicle manufacturer could embed a video of a new car that is being unveiled to the public.  Those who choose to watch the video could get a “first look” at this car before anyone else sees it.  There may also be a discount for those who click the link to order the new car.


The majority of maps that are embedded in a banner ad are there to direct potential customers to the brick and mortar location that is being advertised.  A restaurant may have a special deal for the customers who click on the advertisement.  The map is provided so the customer can easily find the location without having to GPS on their smart phone.

Banner ads have come a long way in a short amount of time.  Not least of all the updated technology are the improved tracking and reporting metrics that are now able to provide insight into how much engagement is generated by each banner.  Metrics report more than just click-through-rates.  For ads containing rich media, the number of times an element is played or hovered over gets recorded.  Since banners are very well suited to branding campaigns, reports can now show the number of impressions a unique viewer might see before they eventually follow through to visiting the website or even converting to a paying customer (a metric known as view-throughs).  Using banner ads in a targeted advertising campaign is not a new concept but the bells and whistles have become more extensive.  It is nearly impossible to visit any website today without seeing one of these new inner workings of the humble banner ad.  How do you feel about banner ads and how they are being used today?