I’m encouraged by some very recent news concerning online advertising. MSNBC (msnbc.msn.com) just rolled out a redesign of their site—Monday 6/28. Part of their redesign philosophy is that Web ads should be large and not relegated to the edges of the page. In other words, they’ve pretty much blown up the marginalized banner ad.
The simple idea of redefining the shape, layout, position and rotation of ads on a site’s page is to be applauded. It’s about time. I mean, c’mon, what idiot (definitely not an art-type) decided a good shape for messaging would be a very wide but extremely shallow rectangle wedged in above the title of a page or an extremely tall and extremely narrow oblong forcing the designer to make everything miniature like some kind of Lilliputian vertical billboard. Back in the day, when newspapers still existed (Wait, what? They’re still around?) it took some real craft and a smart idea to figure out how to creatively use a one
So good for you MSNBC designers—go ahead, poke a sharp stick in the eye of all the sameness of banners shoved to the edges of the page. Make that ad big and bold and right up front. Embrace thefact that advertising is an important part of making MONEY on the Web. And the better you make the space for advertising, the more innovative the work itself will get
— Chris Schlegel, Chief Creative Officer