“Rising Star” Desktop Display Ads – Digital Nugget #14

By Julie Ennis

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Marketing & Sales Intern

In our last Digital Nugget post, we talked about traditional ad types that are popular for use on desktop displays. Today, we will discuss the newer ad types that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has deemed “Rising Stars.”

What is a Rising Star Ad Unit?

In 2011, the IAB invited companies and individuals to submit new ad templates that were designed to drive brand awareness and positive results for the advertisers. Between 2011 and 2012, the IAB studied the entries to determine which templates were best. The following six ad types were chosen to be validated by the market on desktops:


This ad type clearly makes an impression on viewers. Initially, the dimensions are 970 x 250 pixels; however, when clicked, viewers can either expand or shrink the ad to show more or less information. Billboard allows for 30 seconds of video, which plays audio only if and when initiated by the viewer. It can be integrated at the top of a webpage or as a pop-up sitting in front of content until it is closed.

Billboard Ad Unit Sample


While this ad type has the same dimensions as the more traditional half-page type, its features allow for a more interactive experience. Filmstrip ads consist of five different sections that users can scroll through, which gives advertisers plenty of space to provide a substantial amount of information, content, and space to tell a captivating story to their audience.

Filmstrip Ad Unit Sample


This ad type also provides ample real estate and is best featured on the side of a webpage. Ads of this type appear will appear as 300 x 1050 pixels on the page and consists off three portions that users can scroll through. Like the Filmstrip, the Portrait
ad type is perfect for featuring a great deal of information and content.

Portrait Ad Unit Sample


In terms of Pushdown ads, the key is in the expansion. The ad starts out with 970 x 90 pixel dimensions; however, once that page is loaded, the advertisement expands on its own, moving the content of the webpage down with it rather than overlaying
it. Typically, this type of ad is used to play short video clips in its expanded state, before transitioning into a static display ad in its normal state.

Pushdown Ad Unit Sample


Similar to Pushdown ads, Sidekick ads are also dependent on automatic expansion; however, instead of pushing downward from the top of the page, sidekick ads push leftward from the right side of a webpage — again, moving the content of the webpage with the ad rather than just overlaying it. Ads of this type can come in several different dimensions (300 x 250px, 300 x 600px, or 970 x 250px) and are capable of expanding up to 970 x 550 pixels.


Appropriately named, a Slider ad initially appears as a Leaderboard-style ad at the bottom of a webpage. Unlike the Leaderboard-style ad, however, when a viewer hovers over or clicks on the slider ad, the webpage content slides to the side revealing an ad that takes up the entire page.

Slider Ad Unit Sample

Benefits of Rising Star Display Ads

In 2012, the IAB conducted research on the effectiveness of their new Rising Stars ad types. They discovered many benefits to using these ad types over traditional ones, including:

  • Users are 2.5 times more likely to interact with Rising Stars ads than with standard ads
  • Users react to Rising Stars ads 2 times quicker than they react to standard ads
  • Users spend 32% more time viewing Rising Stars ads than they do viewing standard ads

Rising Stars ads on desktop allow for new and exciting ways to connect with potential customers. For more information on Rising Star display ads, feel free to visit the IAB’s website.

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Published on Feb. 01, 2016, Last Updated on Jun. 15, 2022