What was the world's first ad banner? The one above! AT&T paid HotWired to display the above banner on October 25, 1994, setting in motion the creation of ad banners and online advertising.
Traditionally, ad banners have been the most common unit of advertising on the Web, and cost anywhere from FREE to $5,000 to more than $150,000 per month depending on the amount of traffic and page views the Web site receives, or the CPC or CPA the advertisement receives.
It is called an ad banner because it is in the shape of a banner, usually placed at the top or bottom of a Web page. Now the term "ad banner" loosely refers to any form of online ad, including small rectangular boxes known as buttons and large vertical boxes known as skyscrapers.
Historical perspective: Online advertising is a big industry. Spending for online ads was about $300 million in 1996, and it grew to $5.4 billion in 2000 (even though the click-through rate is less than 1% and more than 50% of surfers say they never click on banners. The standard size for each type of online ad is set by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).