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Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Arguably one of the best ideas to come out of the Interactive Advertising Bureau is the Rising Stars Dynamic Ads format offering multiple styles that are rich and interactive. The IAB Rising Stars are indeed starting to rise all around the web, but it is still not the most typically used ad format.

Rich Media + Brand-Friendly

In 2011, the IAB launched the Rising Stars ad format – a fusion of the technological innovations of the web with interactive, creative ad canvasses. Used for web, mobile, and video ads, the IAB Rising Stars ad formats were designed to be brand-friendly and intrinsically user engaging, using rich media ad units that are not only eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing, but are also far more compelling to target audiences compared to other High impact ad formats.

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The more engaging the ad, the easier it is to call audiences to action. This is one of the key facets of IAB Rising Stars ad that makes it successful. Ad styles are interactive, and users can interact with the media to experience the full message delivery of the advertising. Seen in action in this Samsung Galaxy Note filmstrip sample, the rich media and interactivity maximizes the potential of valuable advertising real estate. In effect, the Responsive Ads also becomes more a part of the website design than just another ad that people simply ignore almost by default.

Notice how intimate the interaction is between the user and the brand. IAB highlights how brand-friendly Rising Stars are, and for good reason: advertising and branding go hand in hand. This is a big advantage for smaller businesses as they need to build up their brand, and for larger businesses that need to maintain their brand image.

Early Adoption is Key

Over two years after IAB Rising Stars launched, only a third of businesses are aware of the exciting high impact units. According to AdWeek, the move to bolder, rich media ads is spearheaded by larger brands. Meanwhile, publishers are for the most part refraining to jump into the bandwagon. Some of the common challenges faced by marketers, publishers, and agencies that are hindering them from taking advantage of IAB Rising Stars include:

  • Cost – for agencies and businesses with limited budgets, adoption and deployment  costs across all relevant marketing channels may be too high
  • Demand – publishers are concerned over the design issues raised by adopting rich media ad units when they can’t rely on substantial demand (risk of adoption may be too great)
  • Distribution – Questions of how, where, and why are preventing larger agencies and budgets from enthusiastically embracing IAB Rising Stars ads

What all this means is that the stage is set for many other businesses to be early adopters (“early” compared to competitors at least). Several substantial advantages of Rising Stars over typical ad units should be enough to merit a decision:

  • “Reusable” real estate – As with the Samsung Galaxy Note ad example above, these ads aren’t limited to their pixel real estate. Some formats expand when users interact with the ads as well. This means that your 160×600 ad unit may actually be a 160×1800 ad that scrolls continuously or something similar.
  • More space for selling benefits and calling to action – directly related to the above point, with “reusable” real estate, a single ad can deliver several USPs and create better urgency while selling numerous benefits and delivering CTA after CTA.
  • More features and functionality – These rich media units can contain images, text, video, and other features and functionality, allowing the brand to engage users through multiple media.

Finally, take note that  Rising Stars awareness and usage is high (69% of agencies), and these agencies are reporting positive results from their use.

The Stars that Shine Brightest

Early adopters should also be quick on the uptake – take advantage of the most effective IAB Rising Stars ad formats: pushdown and billboard.

  1. Pushdown: pushes down when interacted with and delivers its advertising. This High impact ads boasts rich functions, an elegant layout, and a visual toolbar with intuitive, user-friendly controls. Here is a sample Ford pushdown ad.
  2. Billboard: runs the full width of the website layout and allows closing by users, giving them more control over their browsing experience while also presenting a more immersive advertising experience. Check out this Carolina Herrera billboard ad to get a feel for the format.

 IAB Rising Stars advertising

Four other Iab standard banner formats can be used, and as mentioned above, mobile and video ad formats are also available for a larger range of IAB Rising Stars advertising channels. As the buy and sell-sides of the market balance out (larger agencies worried about distribution and publishers are worried over demand) and more businesses are made aware of IAB Rising Stars, it will undoubtedly be a a very powerful marketing tool that is both brand- and user-friendly.