IAB Announces Winners of ‘Rising Stars’ Competition; New 6 Brand-Friendly Ad Formats

Following In-Market Validation, Winners To Become New IAB Standard Ad Units

PALM SPRINGS, CA — In a sustained effort to spur greater creativity in interactive advertising and speed adoption of new brand-friendly ad formats, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced the six winners of its “Rising Stars” Competition. These new-to-the-market formats will be named IAB Standard Ad Units following six months of in-market validation. A pool of 36 innovative submissions came from more than two dozen companies. The Rising Stars contest kicked off at the MIXX Conference & Expo in September 2010, when the IAB put out a call for new standard ad units that would encourage engagement with viewers on their terms and allow people to participate confidently with brands.

It was also announced that 11 of the 18 current IAB standard ad units will be retired as they are no longer commonly bought and offered throughout the market, a requirement defined by the “Ad Unit Guidelines Update” developed by the Reimagining Interactive Advertising Task Force in November 2009.

The winners are:

Rising Stars Description Why they were selected New IAB Name
AOL Project Devil 300×1050 canvas format with state-of-the-art plug and play functionality Large, creative friendly canvas that balances well with page content IAB Portrait
Genex Slider (produced by Unicast & Mediamind) Overlay unit on the bottom of a page mirrors touch screen habit, prompting users to slide the entire page over, unveiling a full branded experience Optimal creative space keeping viewer fully in control of ad experience IAB Slider
Google/YouTube Masthead Large billboard running the full width of the page with full close-ability “Love it or leave it” value exchange with viewer. If they don’t love the large creative, they can close it. IAB Billboard
Microsoft Int. Filmstrip A 300×3000 canvas, viewable through a 300×600 window and fully controlled by viewer Richly engaging experience with tons of content possibilities delivered in page with users fully in control IAB Filmstrip
Pictela Pushdown A pushdown unit with broad functionality via visual toolbar Super rich functionality, elegant layout, and intuitive visual toolbar IAB Pushdown
Unicast Sidekick Expandable format that launches from IAB standard ad, pushing page content leftward, revealing large, functional canvas Large canvas with myriad creative possibilities delivered without affecting page content and leaving viewer in charge IAB Sidekick

The IAB has been the standard-setting body for interactive advertising formats since 1997 and is widely regarded for instituting rigor in the digital media supply chain. Agencies, marketers and publishers recognize IAB standard ad units as the foundation of modern digital marketing communications. Seven of the IAB ad units comprise approximately 80 percent of all online ads served in the U.S.

The Rising Stars contest is a core component of “Reimagining Interactive Advertising,” an IAB initiative being led by top agency executive Peter Minnium, formerly Managing Director of Lowe Worldwide, the global creative agency network of the Interpublic Group, where he held leadership roles overseeing international operations. Mr. Minnium joined IAB in June 2010 as a Consulting Director.

The ad unit submissions were evaluated on the following specific criteria:

* Branding – How well does the ad format provide a canvas for brand creativity?
* User Experience – How does the ad format positively impact user experience?
* Functionality – How does the ad format take advantage of online user behaviors and technologies?
* Page Integration – How does the ad format enhance the relationship between the ad and publisher page layout?
* Adoption – How easily could the ad format be widely adopted by publishers?

“In the constant ebb and flow of creative brand advertising online, one thing is clear from the Rising Stars submissions: if the creative community and the brands they represent are inspired by the canvas they are given, we are set to experience a renaissance of more and better brand advertising on the web,” Minnium said.

“I’m incredibly excited about the creativity that flowed in with the Rising Stars submissions and this endeavor has the potential to inspire others within the advertising and marketing community to take the dialogue about standard ad units to a whole new level,” said David Doty, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, IAB.

The winners of the Rising Stars initiative were selected by a cross-disciplinary group that included agency creative directors, media executives, publishers and ad operations specialists, who judged the ad formats for their potential to drive brand equity at scale. In addition to IAB Ad Ops Council professionals from Turner, Microsoft, Google and Disney, among others, Rising Stars evaluators included:

* Alex Shulhafer, Creative Director, BBDO
* Ana Andjelic, Director, User Experience, Huge
* Becky Minervino, Senior Interactive Strategist, McKinney
* Calle Sjoenell, Executive Creative Director, BBH
* Carl Fremont, Executive Vice President, Media Director, Digitas
* David Levin, President, Creative & Technology, 360i
* Dom Goodrum, Art Director, Barbarian Group
* Edward Boches, Chief Innovation Officer, Mullen
* Gary Scheiner, Chief Creative Office, Rosetta
* Ivan Kayser, Senior Vice President, Hill & Knowlton
* Jarrod Riddle, Senior Art Director, Big Spaceship
* Joe Barone, Managing Director, Digital Advertising Operations, GroupM
* John Norman, Chief Creative Officer, Martin Agency
* Josh Stinchcomb, Vice President Digital Sales, Conde Nast
* Kaare Wesnaes, Director of Creative Development, AKQA
* Maggie Sapovchak, Marketing Director, NBC Universal
* Mike Brunick, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Platforms, MediaBrands
* Patrick Clarke, Executive Creative Director, Publicis Modem
* Tony Whiteside, Creative Director, Ogilvy

While many of the Rising Stars are available today, there will be a 90-day build-out period after which they will all be available at scale. For embeddable videos, media-ready screen shots and additional information of the Rising Stars, visit: http://www.iab.net/risingstars

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.