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An online advertisement is any promotional material that is optimized for and distributed via the internet. In practice, online advertisements are most commonly associated with banner, box and textual ads that may contain images, video or ad copy. In the full sense of the definition, however, email and social media campaigns are also forms of online advertisements.
Most online ads are embedded in a web page's HTML or served to placeholders through an ad server. That said, there is a wide range of display and delivery options available for online advertisers who want their ads to stand out. Unfortunately, standing out doesn’t always get the results advertisers want. Excessive pop-ups and expanding box ads are certainly noticeable, but they are also intrusive, and can cause viewers to react negatively to the advertisers using them and the sites hosting them.
Done properly, online advertisements offer advertisers more control over how they reach consumers. Moreover, by tracking consumer behavior and their interaction with online advertisements, businesses can obtain valuable analytical data on what factors influence their customers' buying decisions.