June 16, 2008: Kayak.com launched a new display advertising platform optimized for the travel industry. The ad platform is based on technology developed by Sidestep.com, which Kayak.com purchased in December 2007.
Similar to the text ads that are already available through the Kayak Publishing Network (KPN), the new display ad system helps travel marketers target their ads based on search criteria including destination, origination, trip dates, length of stay, specific airline/hotel/car brands and car type. Referrals generated by either ad type can pass consumers’ search information (destination, travel dates, etc.) through to the advertiser’s Web site, allowing the advertiser to display relevant search results instead of a generic landing page.
Kayak.com and its affiliated Web sites generate nearly 200 million targetable ad impressions per month on air, hotel and rental car search result pages. Display advertising units are available in three IAB standard ad units of 180x150 pixels, 160x600 pixels and 300x250 pixels. There are more than 30,000 active text placements on the Kayak Publishing Network from more than 2,000 travel brands.
Reflecting Kayak.com’s commitment to usability, consumers can turn off display ads indefinitely by simply clicking on a “hide display ad” link below each advertising unit.
“Our advertisers have repeatedly told us that display ads can communicate travel services in a way that text ads cannot,” said Steve Hafner, Kayak.com co-founder and CEO. “Yet we know that some consumers dislike these ads and find them distracting. I believe we’ve found the right balance by allowing our registered users to suppress or view them, whichever they prefer.”