Earlier this week, I wrote about some of the new ad units which are being tested by a small number of large companies. Today, I wanted to look at some of the advertising networks that target specific online communities that are of interest to designers.

People have become pretty savvy when it comes to ads on websites. Very few will click on an ad that is not closely related to what they’re searching for, and of course this is where things like Google ads come in with their context sensitive adverts. However designers and developers are particular about how they want their sites to look and this includes the ads that appear on them. Let’s be honest, most text link ads tend to look horrible.

Two ad networks that may help solve the problems of being targeted and less intrusive whilst also being appealing to a creative audience, are The Deck and Fusion Ads. I should mention that, at present time, membership of these sites are invitation only.

The Deck

The Deck

Starting out with four sites in 2004, The Deck now has over thirty member sites. It serves up clean, design related adverts. While many ad networks are all about cost per click, or cost per thousand (cpm), The Deck talks about “Cost Per Influence”. If accepted as a member by The Deck, you can only display their ad on your page. No Google adwords or other advertising is allowed.

Sites and apps are added to the network by invitation only and are considered based on many factors including traffic, design, frequency of updates and overall appropriateness to the general target of the network.

You’ll see that some of their current members are sites like ffffound and I Love Typography, very creative or design related sites with lots of visitors.

Fusion Ads

Fusion Ads

FusionAds launched in January 2009 and has a very similar advertising model to the Deck. Aimed directly at creative folk, Fusion Ads also insist that theirs is the only ad on the page and that it is displayed above the fold.

With a single, unobtrusive ad shown on each page, sponsors don’t have to compete for attention among other advertisers, and readers don’t feel insulted by flashy banner ads.

Some of the design sites featuring Fusion Ads are Elliot Jay Stocks and Warpspire.

Personally, I think it is interesting to see how this model works and also to see the type of designers who are using it, and it’s certainly something to aspire to if you run a design website.

As a designer are you interested in ad networks like these? What do you think of the idea of only one small ad per page?

Jennifer Farley is a designer, illustrator and design instructor based in Ireland. She writes about design and illustration on her blog at Laughing Lion Design.

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  • http://www.FreeHostCell.com sandeephegde

    The idea of only one small ad per page will workout only the amount paid is more than many ads on the site :)

  • toddynho

    these types of ads are nice, I like them. CampaignMonitor recently wrote of their experiences with both of these networks: http://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/post/2779/promoting-with-banners-ads/

    of course, there is BuySellAds.com too which is pretty weighed towards the design and development niche. I think BSA is great, but that’s my site, and I may be a bit biased ;)

  • http://www.PingSense.com sandeephegde

    But all these sites require a high traffic :(

  • http://www.laughingliondesign.net Jennifer Farley

    Hi sandeephegde. Yes, you’re right, that is the downside – the sites do require high traffic, but I think it’s something to aspire to if you’re interested in having a more unique set of ads on your site.

  • http://www.rachelreveley.co.uk artemis

    It is like the online advertising equivalent to going Organic. Better quality for a higher price. It is an interesting idea that goes against the current advertising arms race.

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