We reach the end of our list of 10 digital trends we see impacting our clients’ business during the coming year.
If you haven’t read the first post in the series we recommend you start here: Countdown 10 Digital Trends to Watch in 2017 – #10
1) Down with Rising Stars
The Internet Ad Bureau (IAB) announced a complete overhaul of the standard ad unit portfolio in September of 2016. Per the IAB, the new ad portfolio “emphasizes user respect, choice and control in the advertising experience.” The new ad formats incorporate LEAN, a separate IAB initiative to combat ad blocking by making ads “light, encrypted and AdChoices-enabled.” The new IAB guidelines require that ads cannot expand or auto-play unless they are clicked or otherwise user-initiated. This means that certain existing ads formats will be phased out, including Rising Star units. These units, once considered “cutting edge” when they were introduced by the IAB in 2011 to allow advertisers to scale high impact ad executions, will soon be discontinued because of their intrusiveness to the user experience.
Outstream Video is another ad type that will no longer be compliant in its current format. Outstream videos run unaccompanied by content and can run in standard ad placements, even within the content of a written article. Moving forward, outstream video will be required to adhere to new guidelines, especially on mobile devices where auto-play will not be allowed. Users will have the option to play the video if desired, and will also have the option to pause the ads. These changes to the Rising Star units and outstream video are all a part of the IAB’s efforts to move away from invasive ad types to improve the overall user experience with digital advertising.
Another big change from the IAB guidelines is the shift from pixel sizes to aspect ratios for display ads. Instead of fixed sizes that we are all used to seeing, such as 728×90 and 300×250, ad sizes will now be based on aspect ratios of the height and width such as 1:1 or 1:2, and the ads adjust themselves based on screen size. This will allow the fluidity of ad sizes across multiple platforms and screens. The fluidity of the ads means that advertisers no longer have to build specific units for mobile, benefiting both advertisers and publishers. These changes by the IAB aim to improve the user experience by making the digital landscape one that is less intrusive and more fluid than the one that we are accustomed to.