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Digital Ad Specifications

Rich Media

Rich Media Ads are a form of digital advertising users can interact and engage with.

This type of advertisement can include functionalities such as sound, video, games, expansions as well as multiple exits and social buttons, among others.

It is important to note that the following guidelines are intended to provide a lowest common denominator for creative specifications and are not meant to place a limit on what can be accepted.

All creatives should be received 24 hours before launch date in order to run quality tests. If creatives are received after this period we cannot guarantee campaigns being launched in a timely manner.

Independent News and Media runs quality tests on all ads and reserves the right of rejection.

Graphical Layout and Content

  • Ad images must be clear and recognizable with legible text. Blurry or unclear images should be avoided.
  • Strobing or flashing backgrounds are not permitted.
  • Strong bright colours shouldn’t cover more than 30-50% of the creative surface (depending on design) in order to minimize intrusiveness.

Certified Rich Media Vendors

Adform, AdGenie, AdKeeper, AdMotion, Adrime, Advolution, Adriver, Bluestreak, DoubleClick, EyeWonder, Flashtalking, MediaMind / Eyeblaster, Mediaplex, Pointroll, Spongecell, Teracent.

Standard Formats

The below information shows specifications for creating Standard ad formats.

Creative Name Initial Dimensions
(WxH in pixels)
Maximum Expanded Dimensions
(WxH in pixels)
Max Initial File Load Size Host-Initiated Subload Animation / Video Guidelines Z-index Range Unit-Specific Notes
Medium Rectangle 300×250 None 200 KB n/a 15 sec max animation length.
Video not allowed.
0 – 4,999
Skyscraper 120×600 None 200 KB n/a 15 sec max animation length.
Video not allowed.
0 – 4,999
Wide Skyscraper 160×600 None 200 KB n/a 15 sec max animation length.
Video not allowed.
0 – 4,999
Leaderboard 728×90 None 200 KB n/a 15 sec max animation length.
Video not allowed.
0 – 4,999
Super Leaderboard 970×90 None 200 KB n/a 15 sec max animation length.
Video not allowed.
0 – 4,999
Billboard 970×250 None 200 KB n/a 15 sec max animation length.
Video not allowed.
0 – 4,999
Half Page 300×600 None 200 KB n/a 15 sec max animation length.
Video not allowed.
0 – 4,999
Expandable/ Retractable Formats 300×250 – 600×250, 970×250 – 970×500, 300×600 to 600×600 Expansion must be user‑initiated 200 KB 300 KB Minimum 24 fps for video; 15 sec max length (unlimited user-initiated); 1.1 MB additional file size allowed for host-initiated video; unlimited file size for user-initiated video 5,000 – 1,999,999
(for entire ad unit)
More info Retract Feature = Either Click to close/expand or Enable Mouse-Off Retraction
Pushdown 970×90 970 x 415 200 KB 300 KB Minimum 24 fps for video; 15 sec max length (unlimited user-initiated); 1.1 MB additional file size allowed for host-initiated video; unlimited file size for user-initiated video 0 – 4,999 More info Expanding Pushdown ad units “push” page content down rather than expanding over page content. Please see style guide for details on labeling and required controls.
Example & Style Guide: www.iab.com/risingstars
Sidekick 300×250, 300×600 850×550
(or optional 970×550)
200 KB 300 KB Minimum 24 fps for video; 15 sec max length (unlimited user-initiated); 1.1 MB additional file size allowed for host-initiated video; unlimited file size for user-initiated video 5000 – 1,999,999 More info Unit extends to side of page. Please see style guide for details on labeling and required controls.
Example & Style Guide: www.iab.com/risingstars
Slider Width of publisher page by height of 90px. Active ad content centered in 970×90 970×550
behind slider bar
200 KB 300 KB Minimum 24 fps for video; 15 sec max length (unlimited user-initiated); 1.1 MB additional file size allowed for host-initiated video; unlimited file size for user-initiated video 5000 – 1,999,999
Note: Make sure the z-index of the Slider Bar is higher than those of the page and the Slider Content
More info Use a branding color for the gutter areas while keeping active ad elements in the center 950px. In the Slider Content, use a branding color for the bottom 90px while keeping active ad elements in the top 460px.The Slider Bar is anchored to the bottom and will be pushed up by any horizontal scroll bars. Click or rollover initiates slider content. Must contain “Close X” in expanded slider bar and in slider content.
Example & Style Guide: www.iab.com/risingstars
Floating 400×400 Expansion not allowed 200 KB 300 KB Minimum 24 fps for video; 15 sec max length (unlimited user-initiated); 1.1 MB additional file size allowed for host-initiated video; unlimited file size for user-initiated video 2,000,000 – 2,999,999 More info Label = “Advertisement” Font = 8pt (11px) by 16pt (21px). “Close X” control required on expanded content, font = 8pt (11px) by 16 pt (21 px). The overlay must close automatically after 10 seconds. Positioning should be 270 pixels from the top of the page and centrally positioned horizontally. Overlay’s are served on the home page of each channel and are frequency capped. Must be hosted via a Rich Media vendor.

Abbreviations: px = pixel, sec = seconds

Standard Homepage Takeover and Section Takeover

Standard homepage takeovers and section takeovers are special sections and can be filled with a combination of standard formats:

  • 2 Skins: 170×1086 gif, png or jpeg images (max. file size 200KB)
  • 1 Half Page 300×600 and 1 MPU 300×250 or 2 MPUs
  • 1 Billboard 970×250 or 1 Leaderboard 728×90 or 1 Super Leaderboard 970×90

Homepage Wallpaper or Clickable Skin

Homepage wallpapers or clickable skins consist of a main creative covering the page background together with 2 standard formats:

  1. 1 x Wallpaper or Clickable Skin:
    • Width: Approx. 1900px (recommended)
    • Height: Approx. 1000px (recommended)
    • The wallpaper should have a 970px white space in the middle for the content
    • The wallpaper can also cover the whole surface behind the content and have a pushdown functionality available on click that retracts after view, bringing back the content to its original position
    • The maximum file size is 200 KB
    • This type of creative can contain animations as well as video and other Rich Media functionalities
  2. Half Page 300×600 and 1 MPU 300×250 or 2 MPUs
The BFG Homepage Wallpaper
Discover Ireland Homepage Wallpaper Contracted
Discover Ireland Homepage Wallpaper Expanded

Screen resolution

The below information shows statistics of Independent.ie users and their screen resolution. When creating Skins, please optimise the creative to take these into account.

Screen Resolution % Sessions
1366×768 26%
1920×1080 14%
1440×900 10%
1280×1024 9%
1280×800 9%

Mobile Web Specs

Creative Name Initial Dimensions
(WxH in pixels)
Maximum Expanded Dimensions
(WxH in pixels)
Max Initial File Load Size Host-Initiated Subload Animation / Video Guidelines Z-index Range Unit-Specific Notes
Medium Rectangle 300×250 None 200 KB n/a 15 sec max animation length.
Video not allowed.
See “In-Banner Video” & Rich Media units below
0 – 4,999
Adhesion Mobile Banner 300×50, 320×50 None 50 KB 200 KB 15 sec max animation length.
(unlimited user-initiated)
Video not allowed.
0 – 4,999 Close button on Upper Right Hand Corner; Must be compatible with MRAID 1.0 and MRAID 2.0

In-App Specs

Creative Name Initial Dimensions
(WxH in pixels)
Maximum Expanded Dimensions
(WxH in pixels)
Max Initial File Load Size Host-Initiated Subload Animation / Video Guidelines Z-index Range Unit-Specific Notes
Adhesion Mobile Banner 300×50, 320×50 None 50 KB 200 KB 15 sec max animation length.
(unlimited user-initiated)
Video not allowed.
0 – 4,999 More info Close button on Upper Right Hand Corner; Must be compatible with MRAID 1.0 and MRAID 2.0
Smartphone Rich Interstitial 320×480 None 200 KB 300 KB More info Minimum 24 fps for video. 15 sec max length for animation. 30 sec max length for video (unlimited user-initiated). 2.2 MB additional file size for host-initiated video (unlimited user-initiated) 0 – 4,999 More info Landing pages must be mobile optimized; include dimensions in file name; use MRAID specifications when appropriate.

Video Specs

The below information shows specifications for creating Video ad formats

Max. video length 30 seconds for Pre-roll, 60 seconds for In-Article video
Format H.264 (MP4) and WebM video file types must all be included within each video creative (other formats may be included but may not be used)
Aspect Ratio / Sample Resolution 720p or below is required, the optional inclusion of 1080p is recommended – either 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios are acceptable. Examples of each are 16:9 – 854×480; 1280×720; 1920×1080 and 4:3 – 480×360; 720×540; 960×720
Audio Format MP3 or AAC preferred
Frames per second Up to 30fps
Maximum file size 10 MB