During the setup process of the Adhese account, the client defines its portfolio of formats. The client is free to determine which formats it wants to serve on its platforms. This chapter presents an overview of the most implemented and well-known formats.

Click the image for a larger view.

Online advertising formats

Online display advertising

Online display advertising messages can be communicated by text, visuals (graphics, video, …) and/or audio – empowering a wide range of opportunities. The messages appear next to the content on a publisher’s platform but may also float on top of the content.

Online display advertising campaigns come in three main forms: web banner ads, rich media ads, and text ads.

Web banners

Web banners are graphical advertisements that can come in any dimension. Web banners are quite static as they usually are uploaded as a JPEG, GIF or PNG file. Only a GIF file allows for simple animation effects. An  HTML5 file is used for more advanced animation effects.

Some of the most frequently used ad format dimensions and their names:

Medium rectangle (300*250):

Wide skyscraper (160*600):

Medium rectangle - Click to see larger image
Wide skyscraper - Click to see larger image

Leaderboard (728*90):

Billboard (970*250):
Leaderboard - Click to see larger image
Billboard - Click to see larger image

Rich media

Rich media ads are the same as banner ads as they generally appear in web banner ad formats, but rich media ads are far more dynamic. Rich media ad creatives incorporate interactive elements (such as video, forms and audio) by using programming languages like JavaScript and HTML5.


Interstitial - Click to see larger image
An interstitial ad is served as a user navigates from one web page to the next. The ad appears within its own browser window, before the display of the requested page. The ad disappears after a short period or when a user clicks through the ad or clicks it away. An interstitial ad is also known as a splash adtransitional ad, or a between-the-page ad.

Floating ad or overlay

Floating ad or overlay - Click to see larger image
Just like an interstitial ad, floating ad or overlay may serve as a user navigates to another web page. However, the ad appears above the usual content of the web page. A floating ad can also be delivered after a user is on the web page for a specific period. This is a common practice for the promotion of a website’s newsletter. A floating ad disappears after a short period or when a user clicks through the ad or clicks it away


Expandable ad - Click to see larger image
Expandable ad - Click to see larger image
An expandable ad expands beyond its actual dimensions after a user clicks or hovers over the ad. The ad expands over the page content; the original content stays in place.


Push down ad - Click to see larger image
Push down ad - Click to see larger image
push-down ad resides at the top of a web page. If a user clicks or hovers over the ad, the creative will expand downwards and the original content shifts down with it.

Homepage takeover

Homepage takover ad - Click to see larger image
homepage takeover ad ensures maximum visibility of the advertiser’s message since this ad deploys all (or a subset of) existing advertising positions on a homepage.

Wallpaper skin

Wallpaper skin ad - Click to see larger image
The wallpaper skin ad covers the left and right-hand rails on a web page. The position of the wallpaper image remains unchanged when a user scrolls down. This format is often delivered alongside a leaderboard or other format (see Homepage takeover).

Floor ad 

Floor ad - Click to see larger image
floor ad positions itself at the bottom of a browser’s window. The floor ad can expand on user interaction.

In-banner video

In-banner video ad - Click to see larger image
An in-banner video ad does not deliver a video within a video player but inside the dimensions of any display ad creative for a given position. It is possible to initiate video playback automatically, but it is recommended to begin the audio only on user interaction.


In-read ad - click for a larger view
In-read ad - click for a larger view

An in-read ad contains a video that is placed in the middle of an article. The playback of the video starts automatically when the creative is in view for 50%. If the user scrolls past the video, the playback is paused and will play again when it comes back into view. The video disappears after completion.

Text ads

Text ad - Click to see larger image

Text ads are based on text-only and can contain a graphical element. You can implement any web banner format to make a creative use of text-based call-to-action. Text ads are often alternatively delivered to users who disable their browsers to load images automatically.

You can create multiple text ads templates in Adhese.

Video advertising

As opposed to in-banner video ads, video advertising relies on video content for its delivery and is viewed from a video player. Video advertising is also referred to as in-stream video advertising and comes in three forms: linear, non-linear and companions ads.

Linear video ads

Linear video ads are played before, between or after the playback of video content. Linear video advertising is known to interrupt the playback of a video clip as the linear ad takes over the full video experience for a period of time. Three linear video advertising formats exist:

  • Pre-roll ads play before the start of the video playback;

  • Mid-roll ads play during the playback of the video clip;

  • Post-roll ads play after the end of the video playback.

Non-linear video ads

Non-linear video ads do not disrupt the playback of a video, but run alongside the video content within the video player for a brief period or after the user clicks the ad away. The original video content remains in view as the non-linear video ad covers a part of the video as it plays. Usually, a non-linear video ad is shown in the bottom area of a video player.

An overlay ad is a banner ad that is delivered over the video content in the bottom of the video player. The ad makes use of text, graphics, or video overlays to convey the message of the advertiser.

Video advertising overview - Click to see larger image

Companion ads

To enhance the visibility of the campaign, you can pair a linear or non-linear video ad to a companion ad that is in tune with the original video ad. A companion ad is served outside the environment of the video player. Any display advertising format can be coupled.

An example of a companion ad is a branded player. A branded player consists of an outer layer or skin that is wrapped around the video player.


Suppose a user is surfing the Internet with a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet. In that case, Adhese is capable of serving any display advertising format – whether the environment is adapted or not to the mobile user. Next to the monetisation of mobile websites, advertising within applications or In-App advertising is possible as well.


A native ad meets the following criteria:

  • Complements the original content of a publisher as it is in harmonisation with it – forming a unified stream of content;

  • Absorbs into the design of the site and the only distinctive design element is the disclosure that informs the user about the sponsored content;

  • Induces the same behaviour as the neighbouring content, namely linking to an on-site page.

The above three criteria clarify the difference with a traditional display banner ad. A native ad format is considered as non-disruptive since it conforms to the natural form and function of the content visitors have come to engage with.

In Adhese, you can create native ads that mimic your original content by using custom templates (see Templates).

Some formats comply with the criteria mentioned above but to a lesser extent, such as a recommendation widget or the promoted posts that pop up in the stream of your social networking profile.

Native ad - Click to see larger image


Concerning email advertising, Adhese can serve any web banner. 

All webmail clients and the majority of desktop and mobile clients support animated GIFs. However, newer versions of Microsoft Outlook (2007+) and Windows Phone 7 do not support animated GIFs and display the first frame of the animation instead.

Email marketing - Click to see larger image

Custom formats

You are not restricted only to implement display formats that follow the standards of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Adhese serves any format that fits within your platform, and that does not disrupt the visitor experience, for example, a wallpaper skin combined with an in-banner video leaderboard.


Custom ad - Click to see larger image

Industry initiatives

Coalition for Better Ads

Leading international trade associations and companies involved in online media formed the Coalition for Better Ads to improve consumers’ experience with online advertising. Advertising helps support valuable free content. Consumers, however, are increasingly frustrated with ads that disrupt their experience, interrupt content and slow browsing. The Coalition for Better Ads will leverage consumer insights and cross-industry expertise to develop and implement new global standards for online advertising that address consumer expectations.

The Coalition researches to develop data-driven standards for online advertising. The goal is to measure consumers’ preferences about the types of ads they least prefer, to help the global marketplace take steps to deliver a better ad experience. The results in the first phase of the Coalition’s research define Better Ads Standards that identify the ad experiences that fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability. Better Ads Standards reveal the least preferred, most annoying ad experiences that are also most likely to cause consumers to adopt ad blockers.