Advertising on the Internet is often considered a necessary evil, but at Vox Media we believe that advertising can be as good as an experience for readers as our content - engaging, seamless, and beautiful. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has struggled to keep pace with the types of experiences available to both readers and brands, so we decided to take matters into our own hands.
The ad products we build in-house are far superior to other high-impact units that can be found on the Internet. We draw inspiration from gorgeous full-page magazine ads—well-designed, elegant, and a cohesive part of the experience of visiting one of our sites. What we leave out matters as much as what we include: these products never automatically play video or audio, and they are integrated on the page seamlessly, never covering up or blocking our great content.
At Vox Media, we are passionate about our advertising the same way we are passionate about all of our media properties. Just like SBNation,The Verge, and Polygon, Advertising Products has its own cross-functional team of developers and designers on our Product team, and this team has built some pretty great ads for some pretty great brands. Each has challenged us to design great interactions within front-end responsive constraints.
EVE Online came to us with an opportunity to build some custom advertising for the launch of their newest expansion, EVE Odyssey. They wanted to share their game trailer and showcase their awesome imagery for the expansion pack, especially the spaceship you can see in on their site. We have a new ad product we are rolling out called the Fishtank that we thought would be perfect for this use case.
There are some lovely details to this advertisement, from a subtle zoom that indicates traveling through space to the clouds that drift across the screen to give a sense of depth. Ads like this perform extremely well, and are fun to build given the great assets video game companies share with us.
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung came to us with an opportunity to promote their new Galaxy S4 which has many interesting features, such as the large screen, the camera, and the ability to navigate without having to touch the phone.
Building this was quite a technical challenge. There is a cool animation on each click that gives a sense of depth; our designers and developers had to come together to create both it and the moving bokeh in the background.
Oftentimes our editorial teams will come up with a great series that a brand wants to be aligned with. The Polygon crew did exactly that, building a series called “Human Angle”. This original series tells the stories about great games and the people that influence and are influenced by them. When Microsoft heard about this editorial series, they wanted to sponsor it, aligning their brand with our great Polygon content.
The great thing about the Human Angle fishtank is how much it feels like a Polygon experience, from the placement on the homepage to the styling to the great content. Our readers love this ad product because it collects great content for them and Microsoft loves this product because it aligns their brand with Polygon quality editorial - everyone wins!
Our Product Team is just getting started on these challenges, and we relish the opportunity to make advertising on the Internet better. If you’re interested in joining the good fight, we’re hiring!