Key Points

  • Sticky ad units stay within the viewport even as the user scrolls.
  • They solve problems like banner blindness and poor ad viewability.
  • Playwire offers innovative sticky ad units.

Several years ago, publishers and advertisers both started to realize that people weren't paying as much attention to ads as they once did. The drop in the effectiveness of the banner ad unit was so sharp that it sparked a new term that is now widely used in the industry: banner blindness.

Like ad tech folks love to do, the industry started to innovate its way around this problem. One of the results of that innovation was the sticky ad unit. Since then, sticky ads, also referred to as adhesive ad units, have been growing in popularity among publishers and advertisers alike, and there's no sign that the rise in popularity is going to slow down any time soon.

Let's take a closer look at what sticky ads are, how they help, and the units Playwire currently offers. Keep reading.

We're in the business of making more money for our publishers. That means when a new, high-impact ad unit pops up, we're going to start using it. Ready to partner with the team that keeps your ad revenue climbing? Contact us.

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What are Sticky Ad Units?

Also called anchor ads, sticky ads are ads that stay in the user's viewport even as they scroll past the initial ad contact point. They can include both banners and videos, and they work on both desktop and mobile devices. These ads can anchor to the sidebar, top, or bottom of the user's screen.

Benefits of Sticky Ad Units

Sticky ad units became so popular so quickly because they provide some clear and immediate benefits. Some examples include the following:

  • Increased ad viewability. Ad viewability is a key metric in digital advertising, and it's one that advertisers pay special attention to. An ad is considered viewable if a certain percentage of it remains visible on the visitor's screen for a certain number of seconds, depending on the ad format. Sticky ads remain 100% visible to users for the entire time they're on the page, which translates to incredibly high viewability.
  • Higher yield. Better ad performance metrics like viewability translates to higher CPMs for sticky ads than for many other units. Advertisers love the positive metrics, and publishers love the extra cash.
  • Anti-banner blindness. Sticky banner ads solve the banner blindness problem because you almost can't ignore them. They position themselves and then follow you, so you really can't miss them.
  • High customization potential. Sticky ads can dock to particular parts of the screen, be a wide variety of sizes, feature various plays, and have mute and close options.
  • Not interruptive to the user experience. While sticky ads may sound quite interruptive to the user experience, they stay out from in front of page content and occupy otherwise unused portions of the screen, keeping the user experience from being greatly affected by any ad placement.
  • Great for direct deals. Because of their high viewability, sticky or adhesive ad units are always a favorite for direct campaigns, making your digital advertising property more interesting to advertisers.

Playwire's Sticky Ad Units

To make sure our publishers are able to reap the benefits of sticky ads, Playwire has developed several kinds of sticky ads. They are as follows:

  • Flex Leaderboard. Flex leaderboard units are compatible with multiple devices. A vertical sticky unit, as the user scrolls, the unit takes up most of the vertical space on the mobile or desktop screen and reveals more of the creative as the scroll continues. Advertisers can put almost anything inside these vertical sticky ads: video, banners, galleries, mini-games, and more. Playwire's cross-platform flex leaderboard can turn out eye-popping metrics like 100% viewability, 1.5% engagement, 80% video completion rates (VCRs), and 0.7% click-through rates (CTRs). Below, check out a cross-platform flex leaderboard in action.
  • Sticky Leaderboard. Available on desktop and tablet, horizontal sticky ads stick to the top of the user's screen and fade after two seconds with no close button, ensuring that most viewability criteria are met and exceeded. Sticky Leaderboard, horizontal ads, can be 728 X 90 or 970 X 250.
  • Sticky Side Rail. The Sticky Side Rail unit sticks to the left-hand side of the user's viewport on mobile, tablet, and desktop. It will not fade or close on its own unless the user clicks the close button, which is displayed persistently. This unit is available in 160 X 600 ad size or 300 X 600 ad size.
  • Sticky Bottom Rail. Available in 728 X 90 or 320 X 50, the Sticky Bottom Rail unit is available for desktop, mobile, and tablet. It sticks to the bottom of the screen, floating over a small portion of the website content. It displays a close button that the user must click to get the ad to go away.
  • Sticky Video Player. The above types of sticky ads can contain video, but this one is a little different. The StickyVideo Player begins as an on-page video that auto-plays when the user scrolls to it. When the user scrolls past it, it jumps out and docks to the bottom right corner of the screen (as shown below). This unit is available on desktop, tablet, and mobile.

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Importantly, none of these units obscure the website or app's main content in a way that prevents the user from viewing it. They do, however, remain invisible portions of the screen to drive key metrics through the roof.

While not considered a traditional "sticky" ad unit, rewarded video is another unit that provides some of the same key benefits. Like sticky or adhesive ad units, a rewarded video ad unit occupies the user's screen for an extended period of time.

In a nutshell, rewarded video gives your users a reward, or incentive, for spending time watching a full-screen video ad. This reward usually takes the form of a gift that is useful within the mobile app or website rather than a tangible reward like cash or a branded item. A rewarded ad unit will occupy the entire screen in between two phases of use within the app, such as between levels before a game starts or a similar transition.

Need Innovative Ad Units? Reach Out to Playwire

Sticky ads are just the beginning. We've got everything: flex leaderboards, web page interstitials, site takeovers and so much more.

Why do we invest so heavily in creating exciting and new ad units? Because we know these are the things that keep the big buyers interested in our publishers' inventory - and, by extension, keep their CPMs soaring.

If you're ready to start offering high-value ad inventory and amplifying your ad revenue, we're ready to get you to the next level.

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