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Programmatic Homepage Takeovers: Exciting and Dynamic

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Katie Swalm
Programmatic Homepage Takeovers: Exciting and Dynamic

Programmatic Homepage Takeovers: Exciting and Dynamic

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Programmatic Homepage Takeovers: Exciting and Dynamic
Programmatic homepage takeovers put your business front and center to the customers you want to reach.

Photo by Joshua Mayo on Unsplash

Welcome back to CHANNELS, where we discuss the top programmatic marketing channels available to your business today to help you decide if they are right for your advertising strategy.

Last week, we reviewed Programmatic Display Ads; if you missed it, read it here. Today, we’re talking about Programmatic Homepage Takeovers. Sign up so you never miss a post, in the sign up box on this page!


Homepage Takeovers are a type of display ad that can be rather polarizing in the design community. They go by many names: wallpapers, wrappers, left and right rails, site skins, site takeovers…But whatever they’re called, love them or hate them, they are a highly viewable and unique format.

One important note, though—we’re not just talking about regular takeovers. When you add programmatic functionality to this engaging format, you get something even more effective.

What are homepage takeovers?

Homepage takeovers are display ads that take up every placement on a website’s homepage or most visited pages. Takeovers are most often used for events or other special dates, as they are more expensive than the usual ad placements (estimated between 200-500% increased CPM over regular ad placements, or 2x-10x the regular cost).

The increased cost is due to the advertiser receiving 100% of the Share of Voice (SOV) on that website, where normally, they would receive a lesser percentage and the placements on that page would be shared by other advertisers.

Homepage takeovers are usually sold by the hour or per 24-hour period, and can be static or include rich media.

That increased cost ideally provides advertisers with benefits including a strong impact on your customer, an increased click-through rate (one site found a 2-3% CTR). 

What is programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising is a term that encompasses several different automated buying processes. “Programmatic” means that the buying happens through a software platform, rather than manually through an Insertion Order (IO) by negotiating with a specific publisher or website for the specified campaign to run on a specific time and date.

One of the main types of programmatic advertising is called Real-Time Bidding (RTB). This process occurs through a Demand-Side Platform (DSP). The advertiser inputs their audience, budget, and creative, and the DSP runs an auction every time someone opens a webpage to see which ad will be served to that user.

The DSP uses billions of data points to find the right audience based on context, demographics, behavior, and other categories, and makes sure to stay within your budget for that viewer, so you reach the perfect person, at the right time, at the right price.

There are also Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs) that publishers can use to offer their inventory to advertisers.

Other types of programmatic advertising are:

  • Programmatic Direct: A more manual process than RTB, where a publisher and advertiser make a deal through a platform to negotiate the price and webpages that the ads will occur on. However, this guarantees exact placement and metrics. 
  • Private Marketplace (PMP): Like RTB, but only select advertisers and publishers can access this software platform and sell and buy inventory. Ensures access to high-quality buyers and sellers.
A graphic representation of programmatic homepage takeovers, which show the ad campaign on the top and sides of the website.

What are the benefits of programmatic homepage takeovers?

Programmatic homepage takeovers are an ad format that is possible within some DSPs. They are a newer format, since it is such a manual and impactful unit, but running them within a DSP provides these benefits: 

Targeting options

Unlike regular homepage takeovers, programmatic homepage takeovers let you target interested individuals based on behaviors or demographics. They can serve specific individuals, rather than targeting 100% SOV for every person. 

High-impact unit

Programmatic homepage takeovers are a high impact, premium unit of advertising, which comes with a higher cost but a potentially higher reward. For example, YouTube found a +5% potential absolute lift in brand awareness through their flagship.

High viewability

Programmatic homepage takeovers meet the minimum IAB and MCC requirements for viewability, since more than 50% of pixels are viewable for a second.

Are there any cons of programmatic homepage takeovers?

Programmatic takeovers are a unique unit with some factors to be taken into account before tackling:

Lacks scalability

Not every website supports programmatic takeovers, so they are not as scalable as programmatic display ads. They require a bit more work on the front end to set up.

What are programmatic homepage takeover KPIs?

Impressions: How many total times was the ad served, including multiple times to the same person

Click-through rate: The rate at which viewers clicked on the ad

Cost per thousand (CPM): Total cost of campaign, divided by total number of impressions, times 1000

Reach: The number of unique viewers reached

Increase in Awareness: Shows if more people know about your brand; can be measured by survey

Increase in Consideration: More people visiting your site or adding things to their carts

Conversions: How many people took the desired action, like made a call, purchased the product, or visited a store

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Revenue of campaign divided by total spend

What should I consider when designing a takeover?

  • Focus on an event: This ad type is excellent for advertising a limited time offer or event. Make the timeline clear and the call to action clearer. 
  • Personalize: Ensure that your creative is focusing on your target audience, while working within the website’s best features. There’s a fine line between engaging your audience and distracting them. 
  • Optimize: Consider the size of screen you’re designing for, and make sure that the ad doesn’t break the site. Every website will be different, and rich media is often supported. Even better if you’ve considered responsive design during the process. People stay on websites for an average of 15 seconds, so it’s crucial to ensure that your ad is optimized for the website it is on.

How do I buy programmatic homepage takeovers?

Not all DSPs and websites offer programmatic takeovers—work with Version2 to help determine the best strategy and platform for your programmatic advertising.

We’ve created the first all-in-one programmatic platform, ORION, providing access to cross-DSP campaign creation and analytics, our signature Always-On Support (because your success is our success), and creative formatting and support. For larger projects, we provide top-to-bottom strategy and execution with Managed Service.

Reach out to us today to see how we can provide you with unprecedented results using the power of programmatic advertising.

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