About Wired.com’s New Page-Takeover Ad-Friendly Design

Wired.com’s brand and 20 years of excellent content enable them to try things that others might discover will blow up in their faces.

0DyrbUu_dxsPzzfMMoG3GmWNcQ3qhST2XVvCPK9xktsMy first post about a “homepage takeover” ad was seven years ago when the Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com) and the New York Times (NYTimes.com) sites ran what I thought then (and still do) was a brilliant ad. (But I didn’t know the technique had a name like “homepage takeover.”) I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, however, as the ad didn’t just take over the page, it mingled with the page — demonstrating some witty interplay with the 2008-era conventions of a news website.
While not as witty as the Apple example that interplayed with the web page context, over the years, the “homepage takeover” has evolved in a way that I notice often (due to me visiting the site more often, not necessarily because they  do it more than others) on IMDB.com.

Spiderman-810x431Such takeover ads (not to be confused with the “interstitial” ads that cover-up the page when you visit a site, say, Forbes.com) typically are displayed as the background of the editorial content of a website.

Today, Wired.com unveiled a new design that uses  takeover ads on section landing pages–but not, as yet, on their homepage. (Click on a tab at the top of any page).

I do not believe there are any ethical issues in accepting such advertising. It is extraordinarily obvious that it’s an advertisement and I find it no more intrusive than a five minute commercial block in the middle of a broadcast channel TV show.

As a marketer, I think it’s easy to declare that a page takeover ad does what banner ads don’t: get noticed.

As a publisher, I think it’s easy to declare that it’s the only ad format that you can honestly say, “it’s not about click throughs, it’s about branding.”

As a publisher, I can say these ads are incredibly expensive to place.

As a friend to the 12 people who read this blog, I’ll say this: Wired.com’s brand and 20 years of excellent content enable them to try things that others might discover will blow up in their faces.

Wired.com’s front page and two section landing pages:

WIRED

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