opinion

Margin Ads Attract Banner-Blind Consumers

XBIZ Staff

AdXpansion and other adult traffic firms are jumping on the margin ad bandwagon, garnering visitors from wide screen users and more.

Today’s computer users are likely to be graced with wide screen displays capable of showcasing hi-definition videos, with often underused margins — typically the result of fixed-width website designs targeting less-capable legacy display platforms.

Unlike traditional ad placements, these margin ads put the emphasis back on the all-important content, which lowers visitor bounce rate and increases CTR. -Nigel Williams, VP, AdXpansion.com.

Couple this situation with consumer’s decreasing sensitivity to traditional advertising techniques such as banner ads and a new vehicle for e-commerce emerges: the margin ad.

One company at the forefront of adult margin ads is Montreal-based AdXpansion, which recently responded to publisher demands for more revenue from less intrusive advertising, with the launch of its new margin ad units.

According to AdXpansion.com VP Nigel Williams, the company’s margin ads are currently composed of160x600 banners that appear in the unused border spaces visible to surfers with increasingly wide screens.

“Unlike traditional ad placements, these margin ads put the emphasis back on the all-important content, which lowers visitor bounce rate and increases CTR,” Williams stated. “We analyzed the most popular sites within our ad network and discovered that the publishers with the highest demand are those that don’t overwhelm visitors with ads but, rather, design their layouts around content and user experience.”

AdXpansion’s new margin ad placements offer publishers a way to maximize content while offering prime-time exposure to advertisers, without being intrusive to site visitors and are intended for tube sites, TGPs, MGPs, blogs, paysites and adult novelty sales sites.

“Sites that are content-centric can also benefit from this ad placement without chipping away at existing real estate or compromising ‘clean’ site designs,” Williams explains. “The new margin ads stay pinned to the top of the page — permanently above the fold — in a prime spot that allows for continuous viewing no matter how long a site’s pages scroll.”

The granddaddy of adult margin ads, TotemCash.com, offers its desktop strippers via screenside samples showing dancing and sexual situations that consumers can download to their own computers — and which affiliates can promote through various margin ads.

VirtualGirl leverages peer-to-peer technology to distribute its model previews; with an incentive to users of providing either one free daily model to those who decline P2P sharing — or 10 previews for those who opt-in, making the most of techsavvy viewers. Upsells allow users to build their collection from more than 1,200 available models, specifying how often they appear and at what size on the screen, among other options.

Instant message chat-style ads have also been popular with adult marketers and pulling with consumers who seek a personal touch to their porn — and the participation of others, fostered through the fantasy of interactive chat with a live performer.

Toolbars that are located at extreme top or bottom positions on a web page, outside of the “normal” viewing area, are often used to launch IM ads or to provide direct linking.

So-called “page peel” advertisements, which purport to show a sneak peek behind the page currently being viewed, have declined in popularity, but are still seen on sites today.

Social media icons are also floatable in the margins of a web page, boosting branding and in-direct traffic generation. Other sprites can be sprinkled about the edges of a page as well, in an effort to attract eyeballs simply because of their unique placement.

Given this array of options, it is clear that the advertiser’s and publisher’s imagination is the limiting factor when it comes to coloring beyond the lines with margin advertising.

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