Skyscraper Ad

Joran Hofman
April 4, 2021

What is Skyscraper Ad?

A skyscraper ad is a kind of advertisement normally placed on either the left or right side of a web page. What differentiates this kind of ad from other ones is that these are designed in a tall banner style to catch the user’s eye navigating the page.

What are Skyscraper Ads used for?

A skyscraper can be considered the opposite of a banner ad because of its size and shape, a skyscraper ad is made considerably more thin and taller for users to view it when scrolling up and down, while a banner is wider and will usually reach across the entire rendered page; but besides this both kinds share pretty similar purposes, catching the public’s attention and getting users to accomplish determined actions.

The use of skyscraper ads is characterized by careful market research about the possible customers' psychology and how this particular kind of eye is so good, catching a user’s attention. Banner and skyscraper ads even share a not so different follow-through process, where a click on the announcement will take the user to a property page where marketers will continue a determined plan.

How to make a Skyscraper Ad?

Because skyscraper ads are designed to be so long and thin (the standard dimensions tend to be 160x600 pixels or 120x600 pixels), it is essential for them to have an almost perfect banner design for the format and dimensions, or otherwise they may not be effective, so, here is a basic step by step guide to follow:

Select the image editing tool

Of course, the first step for creating not just skyscrapers but any kind of ad is opening the application that will be used for said purpose. Some very well-known options are Adobe Photoshop and Photoscape. For non designers; Canva

Set the canvas size

The regular size for a skyscraper is 160x600 pixels and 120x600, but it can vary from the design and space of the webpage; other usual options are 120x240, 240x400, and 300x1050.

Place a background image

The background will be the base for the whole image. The rest elements will come on top of it. It can be a plain color, an image of a product, or even a texture; it does not matter as long as it fits the style of the rest of the page.

Add the elements

Here comes the most important part of any kind of ad; the shapes and other images that will help make the ad stand out and the text and keywords that will catch the user’s eye and give sense to the visuals. 

The kind of shapes will drastically change from website to website because they should always be personalized to the brand or business's style, but it is important to make sure that they don’t oversaturate the view and don’t distract from the text but complement it because the ad is supposed to make a call to action through the words in it and the images should not take the attention from them.

Finish the details

With the background and rest of the elements in the ad, it is the moment for adjusting the images, adding effects if desired, and just making sure that everything is in its place.

Tips for a Skyscraper Ad

Just as said above, is the shape and dimensions of a skyscraper ad what will make it difficult to work with it; there is not enough creative space, and it is harder to design in than in a regular square or rectangle, it will also be easier for prospects to miss, for making sure that this is not the case the brand (or designer) should evaluate that a skyscraper ad:

  • Catches the eye
  • Makes the value of the proposition clear
  • Compel to the user’s click
  • Stand out from other ads on the web 

Explore more glossaries