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What is a Homepage Takeover Ad Campaign?

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Web design

A homepage takeover consists of one or more ads that take over all advertising space on the homepage of a website for a limited amount of time.

For example, a retailer has its biggest sale of the year on a Sunday. It buys a 728 x 90 ad at the top of the website homepage, a responsive vertical ad in a right column and a responsive horizontal ad in the middle of the page. It’s all about dominating the space with one advertiser.

The campaign runs eight hours in the morning and afternoon on that Sunday. No other ads appear until the end of the campaign. The cost in this example is $1,200.

Homepage Takeover Pricing

The pricing of a homepage takeover is a sales tactic that depends on five factors under the control of both the advertiser and publisher.

Size of budget

Most advertisers already have a budget in mind when they begin negotiations with website publishers or account executives. Many have at least some flexibility in the size of the budget, but they can’t bend too much. A smaller number of advertisers are simply curious and have no idea what such a campaign will cost.

Homepage takeover ad campaigns work best with major business and consumer events. They also work well with branding needs. So a business that wants to make a big and immediate splash should consider using a homepage takeover.

The amount of time the campaign runs is a controllable budget factor.

Amount of space

The amount of space dedicated to the advertiser is another factor. For example, a campaign that includes an ad at the top of the page that is 970 x 250 pixels should of course cost more than one that is 728 x 90 pixels.

If website advertising policies allow for either ad size, the advertiser and publisher should negotiate which one to use according to budget size and desirable impact.

Otherwise, the homepage takeover fills all available advertising space on the page. The publisher may choose to offer more space for the length of the campaign.

Size of audience

The size of the audience is a second factor. In this case, it is not the size of the website audience but the size of  the homepage audience. Publishers use the number of page views for the home page during the time period as a factor in setting a takeover price.

For example, a major local festival is planning its annual event on a Saturday. It wants to run a two-day homepage takeover that Friday and Saturday. What are the average page views for the homepage on Fridays and Saturdays for the most recent four weeks? What were the average page views for those same dates during the previous two years?

Impression availability

A site with sold out inventory will naturally not be able to sell a homepage takeover unless the publisher can delay other campaigns for two days. Otherwise, if a limited number of impressions are available, the publisher automatically has to limit the budget and length of the campaign.

Length of campaign

Budgets and current impression CPMs for the home page determine the length of a homepage takeover.

For example, the advertiser has a $1,200 budget. The current CPM for the home page is $10. That means the campaign must deliver 120,000 impressions.

If the home page has an average of 60,000 impressions, the campaign will last for two days.

What if the homepage doesn’t deliver that many impressions? The publisher and advertiser should discuss and agree on a course of action. They usually have three choices:

  1. Keep delivering impressions until they reach 120,000.
  2. End the campaign on the agreed date and time, in which case the advertiser gets a rebate.
  3. The advertiser pays the full amount for fewer impressions, in which case it is paying a higher CPM.

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