Online Mix & Match - Placing the right ad with the right medium

Oct 01, 2009

The life of a media buyer has never been easy - juggling a budget between different mediums, trying to find the right fit for each client, and fitting it all into a limited time-frame.

Life is not getting any easier. In print alone the choices are staggering; from standard ROP and inserts to post-it notes and special sections to creative sizes and zoning and beyond. The list of options in every medium continues to grow every day and, with the inclusion of new media, the choices begin to appear staggering. Looking at local online alone you can include at least six new options.

  • Standard Banner (ROS)
  • Banner Targeting
  • eBlast/eNewsletter
  • Rich Media (Corner Peels, Sliding Billboards, etc…)
  • Video (Pre-, Post- and Mid-Roll)
  • Marketplace Posting

So how is the media buyer, their day already busy, supposed to pair their client’s campaign with the best advertising options available? That is where partners like MANSI Media can help relieve the burden. We will bring the options from each of the sites together and provide recommendations for the best fit.

Below are some quick guidelines of when each of the online options should be used.

Standard Banner (ROS)

Be it a Leaderboard (728x90), a Medium Rectangle (300x250) or a Skyscraper (160x600), if there is no targeting then the ad will be run of site (ROS). The ROS position offers a lower cost ad unit (CPM based) that can reach a wide audience.  This method is applicable when the advertiser is looking for a branding campaign that is targeted to a wide audience (generally adults 18+) and when their budget is large enough to purchase the required impact.

  • Works well with longer campaigns (min one month)
  • Requires high frequency for effectiveness
  •  Can be paired with other options to improve reach and frequency

Banner Targeting

This option uses targeting to segment the campaign to reach the desired audience. This segmenting can be accomplished by simply limiting the ads to one channel (if the demographics of the channel are known) or by more complex means (geo-targeting, day-parting, behavioral targeting, etc…). This method is applicable when the advertiser has a particular audience in mind and when they are looking for a strong branding campaign. Generally, targeting comes at the cost of a higher CPM, but can result in an overall lower budget if the channel has fewer impressions available.

  • Works well with longer campaigns (min one month)
  • Recommend a minimum 10 percent share of voice (SOV) within channel
  • Can be paired with rich media to help extend flight, reach and frequency of a campaign
  • Generally results in a higher click through rate (CTR) with fewer wasted impression

eBlast / eNewsletter

Reaching directly into the inboxes of opt-in subscribers, e-mail advertising can provide a powerful tool to drive traffic, sales, or a specific action on the part of the consumer. The eBlast offers a great vehicle for advertisers looking to control the total message (very similar to inserts used in the brick and mortar world). The eNewsletter offers the strength of being directly deposited into the users’ e-mail, while still being surrounded by useful, trusted information. While most newspaper e-mail lists are smaller than national sites, they offer a highly targeted audience who is interested in what the newspaper has to offer and similarly interested in what their advertisers have to offer.

This method is applicable when the advertiser is looking for a higher level of direct response and a deeper engagement with the consumer. The CPM or flat rate is generally higher than those for standard or targeted banner campaign.

  • Works well when promoting a limited engagement
  • Can be paired with standard or targeted banner campaigns to increase frequency and reach into the newspapers audience
  • Generally results in a higher CTR with less wasted impressions
  • Allows for the message to be easily forwarded beyond the newspaper community

Rich Media

The Internet Advertising Bureau ( defines rich media as “advertisements with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a web page format. These advertisements can be used either singularly or in a combination with various technologies, including but not limited to sound, video, or Flash, and with programming languages such as Java, Javascript, and DHTML. These guidelines cover standard Web applications including e-mail, static (e.g. html) and dynamic (e.g. asp) Web pages, and may appear in ad formats such as banners and buttons as well as transitional and various over-the-page units such as floating ads, page take-overs, and tear-backs.”

For most newspapers rich media equates to corner peels, sliding billboards and other ads that reach outside the standard ad unit. These units provide a higher engagement than standard banner advertising, but also run the risk of annoying the everyday user. To control this, newspapers tend to run rich media for shorter periods of time and place a frequency cap (ex. sliding billboard only expands once per day/user).

This method is applicable when the advertiser is trying to reach a large number of people rapidly and with a large impact. Much like email advertising, rich media offers high level impact at the cost of a higher CPM.

  • Works well over a short flight (one day to one week)
  • Can be paired with standard or targeted banner campaigns to increase frequency and reach into the newspapers audience
  • Can cause difficulty using the same creative across a wide footprint due to variances in web sites
  • Provides high impact campaigns with larger then average CTR’s


From pre- to mid- to post-roll or a player set within an ad unit (generally 300x250), video is a unit that can provide multi-sense engagement beyond what print has to offer. In general, online video ads are limited to 15 seconds, as most online viewers will offer less time to the online video advertisement than they will offer to their broadcast/cable cousins.

This method is applicable when the advertiser wishes to reach users with a more engaging medium, sharing many of the same traits as rich media. Video as an advertising medium also works well when advertisers are looking to pull traditional television spots onto the web.

  • Works well with longer campaigns (min one month)
  • Should be used with multiple ads during the life of the campaign to reduce user annoyance
  • Provide greater impact than standard banner advertising, but production and CPM are usually higher

Even as new technology changes the advertising medium, as it surely will, the goal will remain the same - pairing the right medium with the right advertiser - and MANSI Media will be there to help.

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