One thing I’m noticing more and more is media websites running advertisements as background images on their websites. Above is an example from Gamespot. If you click on the image above you’ll see the page in all its widescreen glory. It is a pretty spectacular ad. I’ve seen similar ads on entertainment sites like TV Guide and the Superficial and think we’ll see more like this the future. They work for a number of reasons:

  • Most people have widescreen LCD monitors nowadays but most websites don’t use the space. These ads fill that void.
  • The ads are visually engaging and catch the eye much more than banners or Flash piece. People have gotten pretty good at figuring out where ads are normally located on a page and ignoring them.
  • Ultimately, the ad is still in the background of the page taking up space that otherwise wouldn’t be used, so I think this makes these kinds of ads less disruptive than formats you have to mute or that cover over text you are trying to read.

I think these background ads should be deployed judiciously by sites. You want to break it out only on special occasions and make sure the advertiser is a perfect match for your brand. Overuse will lead to the loss of the wow effect the Gamespot ad achieves.

What do you think? Cool or just another way to steal your attention?

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.