Canwest Digital unveils new ad format

With a new execution called the 'window shade,' one-day homepage takeovers across multiple networks can reach a mass audience.

Canwest Digital Media is introducing a new homepage takeover ad format that it says will allow advertisers to reach a mass audience while establishing the same emotional presence as print. With a new, domineering placement called the ‘window shade,’ buyers can arrange a single-day, network-wide takeover of all Canwest’s digital properties, explains Joe Strolz, VP digital media sales at Canwest Digital Media.

The window shade, which debuted yesterday on the Calgary Herald website for a WestJet special offer, features a band that sits between the navigation bar and the content. The ad then expands from the band and pushes down the contents of the homepage, unveiling the advertiser’s message. It’s unique because a reader doesn’t have to click on the ad and get relevant information from an outside source, because the info is revealed amid the content in front of them, explains Strolz.

‘It allows that full-day presence that the advertiser is trying to achieve, but across a diversity of content-destination assets,’ Strolz tells MiC. The new format is designed to address feedback from advertisers who want the same commanding ad real-estate visibility they can buy in print – such as the gatefold or the back of a newspaper – but online, explains Strolz.

‘You can buy a 300 by 250 [online ad] for the full day on a high-reach asset, and we call that the equivalent of buying the back page of a newspaper or buying prime time on broadcast. But the emotional content that the advertiser has with that investment isn’t the same, and quite frankly the audience response to it isn’t the same,’ he says. ‘So we thought we’d have something that was bigger real estate, and more clearly reflective of the options advertisers have with print.’

While the WestJet run was unique to the Herald, an example of the new format in a network-wide takeover will launch mid-May from an electronics brand, says Strolz. A takeover of the 10 major Canwest newspaper homepages for instance, would reach between four and five million Canadians, depending on traffic, he explains. Costs are comparable to the market on a CPM basis, but the window shade does come at an additional premium, says Strolz, which depends on the format.