Top 7 Trends in Online Ad Design

This is an article discussion thread for discussing the SitePoint article, “Top 7 Trends in Online Ad Design

I cant say this article said much about new trends. For me working in the scandinavian market its more:

  • Ads with order forms
  • Ads with streaming video
  • Big board ads for example 468x400
  • and of course its all Flash… not some gif anim

It looks like the ad design world has turned to the covers of SitePoint books for inspiration. Orange and blue, with curves, …

Very helpful article. Thanks :slight_smile:

“bright colours attract attention, common design techniques are used, and banners are created in the sizes most ad networks enforce”

Ground breaking info there, people. :smiley:

The link ( is unfunctional, and seems to be unrelated to any sort of free stock photography. My favorite stock photo place is , check it out! Decent article, keep up the good work!

I would also have to throw out the Google Ad style of Ad design. No images just text. They are not intusive but easily recognized if the headlines are written well.
Plus I have been using AdBlock on mozilla for a while now and it block several of the image based ads.

Nice Article

thanks for your article, i knew already about the growing popularity of sans serif fonts but little more of what you covered.

good article, lets have more lol

What about a Fireworks set of those tools? :stuck_out_tongue:

I like your article and you covered this topic swiftly and great. I like the addon files you added, I downloaded them (why not?). You put some time into this article, again good job.

I like your article and you covered this topic swiftly and great. I like the addon fiels. You put some time into this article, again good job.

I generally search for fonts at You can search by category which is what I want to do. :slight_smile:

So to sum it up, people like looking (and clicking) at pretty things.

Nice Article, it was well explain :tup:

Overall, I think you did a nice job, Heather. I’d like to add some comments, though:

Trend 1: While curves and organic shapes are a good “break from the old” - they’re quite old themselves - and have been in use since before the web even existed (in magazine ads). A more NEW interesting ad format I find interesting is the flash overlay ad that breaks from traditional rectangular boundaries to occupy any space within the page. You should have used trend #5 here.

Trend 2: Orange and blue are a dramatic combination of colors because they are high-contrast. I wish you would have gone into detail about the emotional significance of using high-contrast in advertising. While useful for some types of clientelle, this type of “IN YOUR FACE” attention getting won’t work for everyone. I hope others reading this article don’t get the feeling that there’s a “magic” color combination that will work for everyone. Read Johannes Itten’s “The Art of Color” for a great in depth analysis of color theory.

Trend 3: Advertising has long portrayed the consumer as the protagonist of the message. David Ogilvy’s classic “Ogilvy on Advertising” explains in good depth the emotional response consumers have to association with an ad. I guess the trend here is a shift towards better advertising on the web?

Trend 4: “Some of the most effective online ads” <— what research figure shows that the most effective ads use the approach you mention? The fact of the matter is that online advertising (by which, I assume you mean banners) - hold on, let’s stop there a second. The entire web is an advertisement. Let’s think of the web as a magazine, or TV, or life. Sites like this are the content - articles, or TV shows. Corporate websites, promotion websites, etc. are advertising - like magazine ads or TV commercials, and e-commerce sites, banking sites, etc. are the transaction centers of the web. Banner ads are only one form of advertising. Focusing on them in a “web advertising” article is no different than assuming that the only form of “real-world” advertising are billboards. Banner ads use power-words like “FREE” because they have limited real-estate and those words are very powerful and proven to receive significant attention. A website, on the other hand, is like a 2-page spread in a magazine. You have all the room you need to sell with compelling copy. Think of a banner like a billboard. It has to sell someone in 3 seconds. The only way to do that is to get their attention. Granted, there are good and bad ways of doing that. You don’t want to hit people over the head to do it. But you have to do it or your banner fails.

Trend 5: I think this is the most interesting trend you’ve listed, because it is a “real” trend. This is something new to the advertising world. No longer is the medium constrained by boundaries (other than your computer screen, of course). I’m very interested to see how this form of advertising progresses and what limitations are placed on Flash because of it!

Trend 7: There’s a good reason some ads are following this trend. There’s a school of advertising that traditionally tends to try to mimic content (articles, et. al.). In doing so, the ads impress on the psychological trigger of association in the consumer. 20pt Red Impact “FREE” will certainly get your attention, but at the same time, it SCREAMS “I’m an ad!!!” Ads that try to look like a column or lead-in to an article will follow the approach of using commonly-used fonts in articles and lead-ins. Makes sense, no? There is more to this technique than just copy font, though. There’s title / content organization, sub-titles, photo / caption placement, etc. It’s an exact science. Pretty dull stuff, but it works. :slight_smile:

Again, overall good article. I think that some of the trends you list aren’t really “trends” per se, but instead raising of the technological bar to a new standard such that online advertising is more closely resembling print advertising.

I was also a bit disappointed that you didn’t explore creative trends, rather choosing to address the more pragmatic trends of execution of banner ads. I would have loved to have seen an exploration of online multimedia ads and viral marketing. I would have loved to have seen some discussion of what direction you think Internet-based advertising will be going in the future. I think the next few years will show a significant leap forward in the types of advertising we see, as big names are spending money to explore new options. Look at Honda’s “Cog” commercial. Brilliant work, and it couldn’t exist off the web due to its length. Look at Ford’s “Evil twin” campaign for the SportKa. The negative attention it received from the media was perfect! It complemented their “evil” image in a way no traditional campaign could! Look at Burger King’s “Subservient Chicken” campaign. Absurd, avant garde, and ineffective, but new and different! The future sure looks interesting for advertisers (AND consumers) !!

I beg to differ on the Honda “Cog” commericial point transio, in Australia it is aired on free to air television. It gets away with being a long commercial by being extremely interesting. Not mention that when they change the car in the ad, they shorten it each time. After all, there is only so many times you can watch car parts banging into each other just to tip a car off a ramp.

mrsmiley, I wasn’t aware they played it on TV. The original is 3 minutes long, but never seems to get old for me. I’ve seen it dozens of times, and every time, I finish with a smile. :slight_smile:

Speaking of ads. Check out this Rich Media ad I just finished for a new Toshiba notebook. You can rollover the links to bring up more info. Anyways, enough chatter, here’s the link.