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ad servers, creative agencies, and active members of the IAB's working groups. It provides scale across media buys and
ad networks by leveling the playing field. Because it sets practices known throughout the industry so adoption is more
IAB Guidelines for Specs and Sizes
The IAB focuses on creating a comprehensive and evolving chart for developing ads and ad formats for all distribution
channels. Table 1-1 offers a sample of the IAB's spec and size requirements for many desktop ads.
Table 1-1. Some of the IAB's Size Guidelines for Desktop Displays
300 × 250
180 × 150
160 × 600
728 × 90
Initial size load
40 KB
40 KB
40 KB
40 KB
Max. frames/sec.
24 fps
24 fps
24 fps
24 fps
Animation time
15 sec
15 sec
15 sec
15 sec
For current information on iaB's display guidelines, visit
As you can see from the table, these guidelines outline initial size of the ad, the frame rate of the ads animation
and even duration time of the animation. The IAB continues to change, just as the industry it supports does. It
regularly holds discussions and meetings in order to advance the industry's interests.
Another useful tool for assessing your ad's suitability in relation to IAB guidelines is Adobe's Adthenticate. This
online tool provides a comprehensive suite of analytics for your ad creative, whether it is a Flash SWF file or an actual ad
tag. An ad run through the process will generate a detailed report indicating whether the ad passes or fails with regard to
the IAB specifications. More information on using this tool can be found at . The tool
is designed to eliminate guesswork between creative development and publisher specs so there is no confusion and no
repeat work is needed.
OK, back to the campaign process. You've seen where advertisers want to spend their media dollars; now an ad needs
to be designed and developed. At this point, in order to develop the ad effectively and convey the advertiser's (client's)
message clearly, you should have a clear understanding of all the publisher's requirements and specs.
The creative is the actual element that gets rendered to the publisher page on day of launch. It's the SWF file
or HTML that conveys the advertiser's message—rather, it's the file that visually conveys the advertiser's message.
What is the advertiser's main focus? Is it to provide a direct response creative or just to keep the user within the ad
experience with a brand-time initiative for the longest time possible? The goal is to create the advertiser's vision in an
inventive and scalable ad unit, one that will run across every publisher site in the media plan. In industry terms, this
is the LCD (lowest common denominator) spec for creative development. Developing and designing to this spec will
allow for ultimate scale and fewer issues along the way.
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