Is the future of web advertising big ad units?

27 large US online publishers with a total reach of 66% of the US market have agreed to try three new big online ad formats.

The new units:

The Fixed Panel (recommended dimension is 336 wide x 860 tall), which looks naturally embedded into the page layout and scrolls to the top and bottom of the page as a user scrolls.
The XXL Box (recommended dimension is 468 wide x 648 tall), which has page-turn functionality with video capability.
The Pushdown (recommended dimension is 970 wide x 418 tall), which opens to display the advertisement and then rolls up to the top of the page.

In laymen’s terms: big. Big, fat ads.

Some are better than others. The 970×418 unit is already in use by the New York Times, The Huffington Post and others with select campaigns. The width is the key, recognizing that the web has moved past 800×600 screen resolutions and that most sites are around 1000px wide now, making it perfect for the top of a page. The others aren’t so great; an ad that scrolls up and down the page (the 336×880) would kill or restrict sidebars on sites, because you couldn’t put anything below it.

If advertisers are willing to pay a decent premium for these units, expect to see them become standards. In this market though, I’d be surprised if they took off in a big way, at least in the short term.

(via Alley Insider)