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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Want a banner to promote Unitarian Universalism?

The UUA announced last week that it is making a handful of banners available to webmasters and bloggers who would like to host an ad promoting Unitarian Universalism. Most of the banners were developed for the Houston-area "Uncommon Denomination" marketing campaign in late 2004 and early 2005 and ran on the Houston Chronicle website, but one was developed more recently for use at

After the jump I'll explain how to place the ad developed for on your site. You can use the same approach if you prefer the other designs or sizes. Here's the ad:

Unitarian Universalists: The Uncommon Denomination

This banner is 468 by 60 pixels — a standard ad size that's good for use in the main content area of a blog. Most of my readers will see it taking up approximately the width of this column, for example.

To display the ad on your blog, you'll need to edit your template. Blogger users who want to put the ad between their header (where the name of the blog appears) and the first blog entry can place the code just before the <blogger> code in the template. (Or you can place the ad at the bottom of the page by putting the code after the </blogger> code. If you put it between those two codes, however, the ad will show up in every single entry on each page.)

I assume that Word Press and Movable Type users know their way around xhtml and can figure out where to put the ad. I confess that I've never used TypePad, so I'm not sure what code you want to watch for in your template — probably <MTEntries>. (Put it above that code to have it show up above all the entries.)

The code to put in your template is:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" width="468" height="60" border="0" alt="Unitarian Universalists: The Uncommon Denomination" title="Unitarian Universalists: The Uncommon Denomination -"></a>

You can get the code directly from the UUA, too. This code loads the ad image from the UUA server and links it to the UUA's webpage for visitors. Very cool!

I'm not especially fond of the other banners; I wonder if we have any designers out there who want to design some independent promotional banners? Here's a guide to standard ad sizes on the web.

Using Google AdSense.

Google AdSense users can also set up an html file using the same code so that Google will display the UUA ad whenever it would otherwise place a public service announcement or no ad at all. That's how I'm using the ad right now on Philocrites.

To use the ad as an AdSense replacement, first save an html file to your server containing only the code above. (I saved it as "uncommon.html.") Then log in to Google AdSense and select AdSense Setup to create a new ad block. Choose the 468x60 banner and, under "More Options," select "Show ads from another URL" in the Alternate Ads and Colors section. Enter the URL of the file you've created. Click continue, select the code, and place it into your template.

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 25 April 2006 at 7:15 AM

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Shawn Anthony:

April 25, 2006 12:53 PM | Permalink for this comment

Great! Thanks Chris. I, however, can't co-exist with blinking gifs ... I know, I know ... It's a personal issue. :)

I think it is a great move to put ads on blogs ... the blogosphere is, as you personally know, a huge marketing resource. It's growing too. Kudos to those who are making this move.

I whipped up my own ad for my blog (front page) ... and I leaned more toward the historical/heritage route with it. I'm banking on curious folk being more interested in what the Association offers as far as history and heritage are concerned than they are with associative contemporary imagery. I could, of course, be wrong. I'm just trying it out ... :)

I'm still messing with fonts too ...


April 25, 2006 01:18 PM | Permalink for this comment

I hoped you'd jump at this, Shawn! Do you plan to whip up a few using the IAB standards? (Personally, I'd love to see a 468x60 banner, a 234x60 half banner, and some of the 120 buttons and skyscrapers if you're feeling ambitious.)

Shawn Anthony:

April 25, 2006 04:00 PM | Permalink for this comment

Chris - Yeah, I'm going to put a few "out there" this evening. Also, I am going to use IAB and WC3 Standards. Great suggestions.

I'll load Photoshop and mess around with a few mock-ups.

Shawn Anthony:

April 26, 2006 01:21 AM | Permalink for this comment

I put the first batch up. Check them out here. There's an Easter Egg in there too. I'm sure you will personally appreciate it. :)


April 26, 2006 07:27 AM | Permalink for this comment

Uh oh, now we have to guess, "Who's that sorta famous UU?"! (A technical question: Where did you get the images? Are there any copyright restrictions on the images?)

The layouts are attractive, but they may be too minimal in their message. We had used some of the language from the "Uncommon Denomination" campaign in our Unitarian Jihad ad — "Radically diverse. Spiritually alive. Justice centered" — and I've wondered if there's a way to highlight a message like that in a graphic ad.

Other comments welcome!

Shawn Anthony:

April 26, 2006 08:01 AM | Permalink for this comment

I doubt there are copyright restriction on these images. They are photos all over the Internet literally. I could be mistaken. How could we find out?

Hmmm. I see what you mean about being "too minimal." Would simply adding "Radically diverse. Spiritually alive. Justice centered" as the tag line be a remedy? In other words, replace :Uncommon Denomination w/"Radically diverse. Spiritually alive. Justice centered."

If that doesn't do it, we will need to come up with a way to graphically represent "Radically diverse. Spiritually alive. Justice centered" ... and that might be difficult. Ideas?

Shawn Anthony:

April 26, 2006 08:04 AM | Permalink for this comment

Oh, the sorta-famous UU photo was found via a search on Google Images. :) Are there restrictions on it? You could probably find out ...


April 26, 2006 07:18 PM | Permalink for this comment

Shawn's ad banners are currently offline, in case you're looking for them. As for image copyrights, lots of images that are all over the Web are actually under copyright and may not necessarily be in the public domain. It can actually be a lot of work tracking down the original image and verifying that it's available, unfortunately.

There are photo samples from the UUA's marketing campaign that could probably be put to use in newly designed banners, however.

Shawn Anthony:

April 26, 2006 09:46 PM | Permalink for this comment

Sounds good Chris ... I took them down until the copyright issue can be cleared up. Also, I'll e-mail a zip file of the mock banners to anyone interested in adding their input to the process. Then, when we are all happy with the result, we can put them online somewhere for public consumption. So, if you want to participate, send me an e-mail and I'll send you a zip full of mock-ups. This way only the finished product sees the light of day ...

All that to say ... I'm working on a few. :)

Shawn Anthony:

April 27, 2006 12:38 AM | Permalink for this comment

Blog Banners Are Online Here!

There's a few. I decided to go live with them after all. Input is very welcome. All images are legal!

Shawn Anthony:

April 28, 2006 12:36 PM | Permalink for this comment

No opinions and/or suggestions?


April 28, 2006 05:11 PM | Permalink for this comment

I've left some feedback here.

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