Corporate Eye

Pushdown Ads Bring Brand Stories Above the Fold

The Pushdown ad unit is becoming more popular now that some major Web properties have adopted it.  In case you’re not familiar with the Pushdown ad unit, it’s those annoying ads that appear at the top of a Web page and actually ‘push’ the content of that Web page down further on your screen (sometimes a long way down your screen).  Sometimes it can be hard to make them go away.  However, advertisers are learning to love them, and it’s not surprising really.  The surprise is actually that Pushdown ads didn’t gain momentum faster.

Pushdown ads are intrusive, and that’s exactly what the Online Publishers Association wanted when the ad unit was created a year or so ago.  You may have seen them on sites owned by the New York Times, Discovery, ESPN or Conde Nast — some of the first well-known publishers to test the Pushdown ad format.

According to an article from BrandWeek, more and more companies are actively seeking Pushdown ad placement, including AT&T, Anheuser-Busch, Universal Pictures, and Nokia.  In fact, Yahoo! has started testing Pushdown ad units in response to advertiser demand (and a desire to increase advertising revenue, of course).

The Online Publishers Association claims that Pushdown ad units allow advertisers to tell more complete brand stories and helps to provide a more creative advertising opportunity that should stand out from crowded online display advertising industry.

There is no doubt that Pushdown ads fall into the realm of ‘interruption marketing’.  The question is whether or not people will feel the ads are too much of an interruption.  Does the extra scrolling to get to a Web page’s real content bother consumers?  Would it bother you?

We’ll have to wait for the inevitable research and statistics about click-through rates, abandon rates, and so on before we’ll know exactly how effective Pushdown ads are.  I know I’m curious to hear how this one shakes out.  What are your predictions?  Will Pushdown ads be embraced by consumers or will Pushdown ads make consumers click away and search for another Web page that provides similar content without the extra scrolling requirements?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.