Online, banner ads are the closest thing to offline advertising as they contain a high degree of creative and reach a large audience. Mainly for this reason they have dominated online advertising budgets over the past few years. However they are far more powerful than offline advertising as they can be interactive and be placed in real time allowing rapid A/B testing. Unfortunately due to their cost and consumer behavior online they can produce poor ROI if used inappropriately.

A number of formats exist ranging from a static image at the bottom end all the way up to Rich Media Flash animation, Eyeblaster floating ads and even full video! Banners are sold in thousand view units or on a weekly basis. The cost can vary dramatically and depends on size, placement and the publishers. As banners are normally trying to drive a response from visitors that are actually doing something else, banners do suffer from low click through rates and conversion rates when compared to other online marketing options.

Industry Stats

There are a wide range of ad sizes depending on the publishers’ site design.

Banner Size
Banner Type
468 x 60
Full Banner
234 x 60
Half Banner
125 x 125
Square Button
120 x 240
Vertical Banner
120 x 90
Button #1
120 x 60
88 x 31
Micro Bar
Banner Size
Banner Type
300 x 250
Medium Rectangle
250 x 250
Square Pop-up
240 x 400
Vertical Rectangle
336 x 280
Large Rectangle
180 x 150
Banner Size
Banner Type
160 x 600
Wide Skyscraper
120 x 600

Banner ad spend took a big hit following the .com crash but is now back on the way up. However the real online ad spend increase is search engine advertising recording triple digit growth.

Banner ad spend

NZ 2003 online banner spend $8 million (OPG members only)

The more people use it the less effective it gets, banner blindness spreads to Rich Media!

banner blindness spreads to Rich Media


  • Wide reach with 100’s of millions impressions available each week.
  • Only way to reach the whole online population in one hit.
  • Offers high impact creative branding options.


  • Banner blindness, Internet users block out banners
  • Low click through rates
  • Low conversion rates
  • Expensive, trying to generate demand and build brand awareness over a short period of time can be expensive. Cost per sale can be very high

When to Use

  • When announcing a new product or promotion
  • When you want the whole country to become aware of a product or service in a very short period of time
  • When all other more cost effective online marketing options have been exhausted and you still have budget