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May 20, 2006

Quigo AdSonar's new scrolling ad units are hot

Quigo's AdSonar has a new style of ad unit that is probably my favorite ad unit style to date from any publisher network. This ad unit features three ads showing in an ad unit, but every five seconds or so, the ads within the ad unit scrolls upwards by one ad, and shows a new ad on the bottom. There are a total of four ads within the rotation, with only threee ads shown at once. They scroll up fairly slowly, but mousing over the ad unit will pause the scrolling to allow an interested viewer to click on an ad.

The ads can be seen at DenverPost.com on internal news pages such as this one (scroll towards the bottom to see a large rectangle below the article and on the bottom right column). DenverPost is one of their private label network partners, which allows them to gain new advertisers to their site, while the ads are implemente and served by AdSonar.

I find these ad units so interesting because the scrolling catches a visitor's eye without being obtrusive like some graphic animation ads can be. And they are still text ads, which many publishers and advertisers find more successful that other types of non-text advertising. And rotating only four ads in a three-ad-size ad unit also gives an advertiser repetition where they could potentially notice the same advertisement several times as it scrolls up.

It will be interesting to watch and see if any of the other contextual companies release similar scrolling ad units in the future, because they do have many benefits to both advertisers and publishers. Kudos to Quigo for launching such a fresh new ad unit style.

Posted by Jenstar at May 20, 2006 01:31 PM

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Tracked on May 23, 2006 05:28 PM


I would love to see some more ad networks follow this example, as moving ads should help prevent immediate ad blindness like most text ads. Very cool.

Posted by: DLeggett at May 20, 2006 07:26 PM

it is against google tos to put adsense and adsonar together in one page?

Posted by: noel at May 20, 2006 09:20 PM

I think its against googles TOS for any similar advertisements on one page Dleggett but as far as I know Yahoo is cool with it?

Posted by: J3sus Shaves at May 20, 2006 10:49 PM

I don't think their ads are hot. Here is why:

1. Look at the code. http://ads.adsonar.com/adserving/getAdsScrolling.jsp?&pid=4901&ps=460694&zw=350&zh=200&tr=4&url=http%3A//www.denverpost.com/news/ci_3839252&v=5
It's a mess, tables inside tables, etc.

2. Javascript-intensive eating away CPU resources whenever ads are being scrolled.

3. "S.x for life! Click to improve your performance. Hey Denver, Fix your Premature E.aculation and E.ectile Dysfunction for life. NO PAIN NO SURGERY! Click here to see how you can be more confident" -- would you like THEM to advertise on your site?

4. I dislike anything that moves on a page without my doing (I didn't disable Flash for no reason). It's irritating, annoying, and completely unnecessary.


Posted by: Alex at May 21, 2006 03:46 AM

Nice catch Jen!

Answering some of the comments on this post:

Noel - As far as I know, Google does not allow showing AdSonar and AdSense ads on the same page. Except for forcing their de-facto monopoly in this space, I'm not sure why they don't allow this (any technical issues re relevancy are BS).
We (=Quigo/AdSonar) do not prevent publishers from doing so. However, to the best of my knowledge, Denver Post has chosen to show AdSonar-powered ads exclusively, so there shouldn't be an issue there.

J3sus shaves - Yes, Yahoo also forces exclusivity on pages that show YPN ads...
Here's an excerpt from their T&C's:
"5. Exclusivity. For any webpage or RSS feed that includes the Ad Code, you agree not to display or link to any other advertising (including but not limited to any listing) that is mapped to or responds to the content of the Ad Page."

YPN's for T&C's are here: https://publisher.yahoo.com/legal/tnc.php

Alex (btw - is this a new type of hybrid spam+legit comment?...) - The code you're seeing is part of a test. A cleaner server-side version will follow in the future.


Posted by: Yaron Galai at May 21, 2006 06:32 AM

Tx, jen.

Didn't even know about adsonar. But tx to you I am up to date again ;)

Is adsonar open for non-usa citizen and what are the


Posted by: simon at May 21, 2006 09:04 AM

Those ads look Terrible. Especially at the top of the page. That is annoying, maybe they can ad music and flashing lights so it looks like a ferris wheel.

Posted by: chris at May 22, 2006 01:44 PM

To echo Yaron's comments, it is completely absurd for Google and YPN to enforce page exclusivity on their publishers. We can't believe such large and accomplished companies attempt to force their publishers into exclusives--this is only a detriment to the publisher community. Surely these companies are not worried about companies like Quigo and ContextWeb...

It is surprising YPN did not take a leadership stand in regards to open, free market competition when they launched their service. Maybe YPN can comment here? And there is still hope for MSN to think differently when they get going this summer.

Posted by: Jay Sears at May 22, 2006 02:50 PM


"is this a new type of hybrid spam+legit comment?..."

Excuse me? I think you misunderstood. The "S.x for life" comment is copy of an ad displayed by Quigo AdSonar.

Posted by: Alex at May 23, 2006 02:40 AM

While they may be more eye-catching because they are moving... what consumer is going to sit there reading these especially when they are not relevent. Rocky Mountain Trout, Accounting School, Lose Weight and Mortgage Rates... give me a break.

Posted by: Rebecca at May 23, 2006 07:53 AM

I love how people are so quick to dismiss new ideas in the contextual advertising space. Yes, the ads *in this particular* example aren't terribly relevant, and perhaps there's some work to be done with the speed and timing of the scrolling.

But when was the last time you saw something new in the text ad world like this? And for every anal-retentive loser like Alex are a million readers who at worst don't care, and at best might now notice an ad they otherwise wouldn't have.

Posted by: Aidan O at May 23, 2006 10:38 AM

"And for every anal-retentive loser like Alex are a million readers who at worst don't care,..."

I don't know what I did to hurt your feelings, but I hope you feel better now.

Posted by: Alex at May 24, 2006 01:35 AM

Nice Jen, those ads look pretty cool. Have you advertised for Quigo before and got any opinions on their rates etc.?

Posted by: fkr at May 26, 2006 01:07 PM

These ads are pretty sweet ... but I had to 'view page in IE' to see the effect, so for that reason alone, I will pass on them. IE is so 2003.

As far as the ppl bashing on javascript, you'd better get used to it ... the web is going to be >90% javascript and XML (can you say "ajax" boys and girls?? - I knew ya could!) within the next 2-3 years.


Posted by: GadgetsGuy at May 27, 2006 05:35 PM

I tried a network called Oxado that has a very similar scrolling ad. Like this one, it wasn't very relevant and the click through was extremely low...very good CPC though!

Posted by: J-Weezy at May 31, 2006 08:04 AM

A few responses bundled in one:

1) Alex - oops... my bad! (and I guess our bad on that ad too...)

2) Chris, Rebecca - As Aidan O pointed out, this is a test we're doing to validate (or un-validate) a concept of using less screen real estate to show more ads which may be potentially relevant to the reader. The jury (=the site's audience) is out there on whether or not this will prove valuable.
One thing we've learned over the years is that the things that work well for advertisers and readers are not always what we had predicted in the 'lab', or what you and I would have thought is useful/attractive/whatever. Testing these concepts is the *only* way to go.

We are working on a few other innovative formats, some of which will probably fail miserably, and some will hopefully push the envelope of the contextual ad world.

BTW - all ads shown on the AdSonar network are yield based. That means that we start by matching the most relevant ads to each page, but over time the audience may "vote" (by clicks) that some ads are more appealing and therefore higher yielding than others.
So even if you (or me) would have not clicked those specific ads for relevancy reasons, they are at the end of the day the ads that this site's audience has "chosen" to show based on their clicking patterns.

3) fkr - AdSonar is an auction based system, so there is no set pricing. Minimum allowed bid on AdSonar topics is 25c or higher.

4) Jay - Good comment. With the big guys (YPN, MSN?) joining the game now, I think it will become more and more difficult for each of them to enforce these stupid exclusivity clauses. So hopefully we will start seeing these go away in the near future. Exclusivity in this field should be a choice a publisher makes because one network out-performs the others, not something that's enforced for bogus reasons...

Posted by: Yaron Galai at June 2, 2006 03:03 PM

I would also give Quigo points for proactively engaging questions and customers in these comments. Thanks Yaron. This is an obvious thing you would expect competitors to do, but they dont.

Posted by: ventureblogalist at June 3, 2006 08:16 AM