The Responsive Ad Builder

Condé Nast UK


As part of a small team, I helped conceive of an industry first responsive ad builder that is successfully used by almost all Conde Nast commercial clients to create responsive ads.

Back in 2012, when we really began to move to designing content-first, clutter-free reading experiences, there was only one thing holding us back. The advertising industry. Key issues with standard ad units included the fact that our sites are responsive, but the ads are not. We felt that this is an archaic concept since size of displays are not constant, so size and layout of elements on the displays shouldn't be either. 

Also at the time (and is largely still the case) luxury print advertising and online advertising are worlds apart in design and implementation. A beautiful double page spread for Louis Vuitton in Vogue magazine can hardly be translated to the awkward  letterbox shape of a leaderboard or a clunky double sky. To make the ads feels more luxurious online, they needed the space that they had in the magazine. But how to do this without pushing all the content out the way?

To get around this we came up with responsive, expandable ads, then created the ad builder, enabling clients to create a response ad in minutes, using their brand assets. Now their ads would flow within our content, benefitting the advertisers and the viewer.

Using the Ad Builder to create an ad from start to finish

There are separate adjustments for small screens, so you could adjust the design or change it completely to work on mobile. It allowed for uploading video, having the ad expand to reveal more image and text, and/or just clicking through to the brand website.

A responsive Louis Vuitton ad on the Vogue homepage