There are many topics in the world of digital advertising that I am enthusiastic about. Lately two issues in particular: one is user experience and the other is affiliation. As an ad tech company that focuses mainly on game affiliation and desktop advertising, we constantly need to find new interesting and creative solutions to generate more revenue and to stand out – both with publishers and advertisers. Optimising the connection of user experience (UX) and affiliation opens up great opportunities to do that. Rich media, or smart banner types, are essential to be more successful in today’s affiliation business.

Ad-Serving vs. Affiliation

The affiliation business is constantly getting more difficult. In an attempt to be more efficient, many publishers prefer to implement an easy ‘one-stop’ ad-tag that will rotate and serve multiple ads based on IPs and then optimise automatically. That means minimum work on tech implementation and money that stakes up (sometimes even regarding the performance). And even though ad-serving is an easier implementation publishers can benefit more from picking up the right offers on a CPA affiliation. Ad-serving is no cure all – it can only be one part of the puzzle.

Affiliation gives publishers control

Affiliation when done properly holds a somewhat calculated risk for the publisher.  The right offer-traffic combination is critical in order to be successful. But if you secure that combination there is a lot of potential. Furthermore, a publisher is more in control over what he advertises on his website when giving him the choice of which offers to run. And this is very important, since many publishers are very sensitive concerning the ads that appear on their pages. In the games vertical, publishers usually want to keep a certain aesthetic to give their audience a ‘full’ gaming experience.

Advertising needs to focus on UX

I believe that an affiliate network can do a much better job not only by connecting the right offer to the right traffic, but rather by giving the whole advertising process giving a fully UX-tailored approach. To find the best solutions for ad placing, and special banner types for the publisher, the affiliate network needs to be creative-thinking, quick and attentive. Not many companies are walking this path. The ones that do are showing highly innovative thinking and these companies are spearheading the industry into this direction with their top affiliates. Having an internal creative team is needed to tailor interesting creatives for each website, from site-skins to billboards and other engaging formats.

The right way

The initial inspiration for these tech-solutions came from seeing the amazing changes on ‘The Guardian’ website. Adding in responsive ad types made their website popular with both users and advertisers. These creatives offer high impact due to the interesting effects and correct placings, thus resulting in high engagement level. They added smart banners that will expand and decrease in size on different browsers and devices, skins that also match the layout and don’t look too invasive and also fill in the regular rectangles with a creative that follows the scroll down.

Adding value – Relevancy & UX

I have dealt many times with the UX issues, and as funny as it may sound, users will appreciate a website that has interesting ads. These top notch ads actually make the website popular, and that is exactly the selling point we try to convey. We are not just making the publisher more money than before, we are giving them a tailored solution that will make their website look cool, innovative and up to date.


This will not just be a new trend but more a new way to promise a better UX, and not harming it with multiple ads. One more issue to tackle is the ‘ad-blindness’, and having these special banner eliminates most of this problem as it captures the attention of the users and elevates the viewability of the banners. You need a highly skilled team of technology driven programmers and creative designers to achieve that. Producing these types of formats in-house is neither cheap nor easy but well worth it.

Explore more on how to conquer banner ad blindness and more, join Shir in his session ‘Monetization vs. User Experience – An Analysis‘ at PMI: Europe this June. You can view the full agenda here