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What is a Floating Ad?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

A floating ad or advertisement is a type of Internet advertisement used by a number of different companies and seen on various websites throughout the Internet. They are somewhat similar to a pop up advertisement, but typically offer a more unique viewing experience and may include animation, sound, and other aspects that make for a more eye-catching advertisement. This type of ad will usually appear when a website is loaded, will appear “over” the website itself and likely disappear on its own in a set period of time. A floating ad can include the ability for a user to close it if desired, and may take up the entire screen or only a portion of it.

There are a number of different types of advertisements that are quite common on the Internet, and they are typically quite important since a great deal of many websites’ revenue comes from advertising. Banner ads are those that are usually located at the top, bottom, or sides of a website and typically consist of a “banner” image and text, though these can include some animations as well. A pop up ad is a type of advertisement that appears over a web page and usually consists of a secondary window or box with the advertisement in it, and often needs to be manually closed.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Pop up ads are somewhat notorious for being seen as obtrusive and annoying by many users, but they often provide significantly greater numbers of “clickthroughs,” people clicking the ad, than banner ads. A floating ad usually seeks to combine the best traits of each of these two other types, often seeming somewhat less obtrusive than a pop up, while not being as easily ignored as a plain banner advertisement. While a floating ad still appears over a website, similar to a pop up, it does not usually exist in a separate window but is rather part of the website itself.

A floating ad is often seen as less annoying because it can be made fairly small to not take over a screen the way a pop up often does. Animation and audio are frequently included in floating ads and these ads will usually appear for about 10 seconds before closing on their own. A floating ad for a new car, for example, might feature an animation of the car itself driving across the bottom of the screen, perhaps followed by the car returning at the top of the screen and then turning and driving toward the viewer before disappearing. In the end, the advertisement will usually grab the attention of the computer user, generating a clickthrough rate about equal to pop up ads, while potentially being less obtrusive.

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