50 Vintage Web Ad Banners

January 6th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

31 Vintage Web Ad Banners Header

While browsing through my file archives some years ago, I ran across a few folders of locally cached web pages. Browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer saved these files in order to speed up load times upon future visits to the same sites. Browsers today do the same thing, but the functionality was far more vital in the days of sluggish dial-up modem connections.

From those folders, I culled a large collection of vintage web banner advertisements from 1996 to 2001. Each one is a bite-sized time capsule of web and Internet history, recalling events and trends of the day. You're about to see a big 'ole gallery of these ads with minimal captions that include a month and year they were captured (I got this from the file dates of the images). A few of the ads betray some interesting browsing habits, like the two for online gambling sites. I blame my brother.

If you're tempted to click on any of these (like I am) then I suppose these ads did their job, but you won't find anything on the other side. Most of the sites advertised in these banner ads went out of business long ago.

If you have any memories of the products or sites showcased in these ads, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Ads from 1996

Snapple, April 1996

Ads from 1997

Volvo, June 1997
Generic, September 1997
Travelocity, September 1997
Egghead, October 1997

Ads from 1998

Digital, January 1998
Digital Alpha, January 1998
Netgrocer, May 1998
1998 Internet Study, May 1998
Pizza Hut, May 1998
MoneyHunter, May 1998
Netgrocer, May 1998
Netgrocer, May 1998
Yahoo! Pager, May 1998
Drug Quiz, December 1998
MacMall, December 1998
Digitalchef.com, December 1998
CDNOW, December 1998
Smartparent.com, December 1998
ezspree, December 1998
Panasonic D-Train, December 1998

Ads from 1999

Yahoo! Pager Chat, March 1999
Toys'R'Us, March 1999
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, March 1999
Miningco.com, March 1999
Coolsavings.com, March 1999
Coolsavings.com, March 1999
NCAA March Madness '99, March 1999
BellSouth Real Yellow Pages, March 1999
Yahoo! Pager, March 1999
Netscape Netcenter Personal Finance, April 1999
MicroWarehouse, April 1999
Sweepstakes, April 1999
Rent.net, April 1999
uBid, April 1999
Autoconnect, April 1999
All-American EZWheels, April 1999
Montana, April 1999
boxLot.com, April 1999
Flowerfarm.com, May 1999
Ameridebt.org, May 1999
AT&T One Rate Online, May 1999
Sands of the Caribbean, May 1999
The Gambling Den, May 1999
NetCard May 1999
SesameStreet.com, May 1999
PetQuarters, August 1999
Pringles, August 1999
Faxes by Email, August 1999

Ads from 2001

Pizza Hut, November 2001



23 Responses to “50 Vintage Web Ad Banners”

  1. Braybett Says:

    Nothing is showing up for me…

  2. Bill Carson Says:

    Not much has changed since then.
    Ads got more professional, just like they did on tv, but they are still as annoying and bandwith-hogging as they were back then.
    Luckely, now we have ad-blockers that actually work.

  3. RC Says:

    Man I forgot about CDNOW, that takes make back. I may be wrong but I think that was the site I would use to listen to clips of songs through RealPlayer before deciding whether to buy the CD.

  4. Geoff V. Says:

    My college marketing professor in 1998 taught us that digital advertising was a fad. Why would anyone pay for advertising online since you can’t buy anything good online? Google’s ad revenue for 2010 was $28.2 Billion.

  5. mercatfat Says:

    I also see nothing. :(

  6. BRIK Says:

    Oh before the days of Google AdSence.

  7. sirhempanite89 Says:

    This may sound silly or coincidental, but try disabling adblock plus if you have that installed. It worked for me.

  8. Benj Edwards Says:

    Wow, so you're saying that Adblock Plus blocks these ancient ads that aren't even links? Pretty amazing.

  9. idisjunction Says:

    They show up fine for me with Adblock Plus. That said, there are many filters similar to "/webads/" in the EasyList list, and its possible that an exact match is included in other lists.

  10. mercatfat Says:

    Yep, that fixed it. Heh. Thanks.

  11. JackSoar Says:

    This post looks similar to many horrible old websites, except that the ads are non-functional.

  12. pando Says:

    love the nostalgia, obviously other people don't…

  13. s1500 Says:

    I admit, I had a nice collection of racy & sometimes downright strange X-10 banner ads. They were not without a heart though. After Sept 11, because of it, they suspended their annoying pop-up ads. Remember our only pop-up ad worries were geocities?

  14. Ant Says:

    I have some old ant ads. in http://zimage.com/~ant/antfarm/ants/AntAds.html

  15. MK Says:

    How the HELL can you all say you see NOTHING???? The WHOLE PAGE has banner ads!!!!

  16. MK Says:

    Hey I have MANy Old 88×31 buttons ads! Then some more others
    http://quakepc.webs.com/quakehistoricgraphics.htm
    and
    http://quakepc.webs.com Then more here http://geocities.ws/quakepc
    Then here: http://quakepc.com
    I took OLD and closed site's banner and themes to add them to my sites.
    I think it will catch on eventually..!

  17. Thomas Says:

    im going to photoshop them all

  18. ForthKun Says:

    Hello Benj,

    I'm fond of this website, especially these nostalgic images you posted. I remember how i love to connect through the internet, and the first time I held a PC with my own hands. It makes me feel like I belong to the past hahaha.

    I wish we still have these old web banners online, they bring back those good memories :)

  19. Benj Edwards Says:

    I'm glad you like the site, ForthKun. Thanks for reading!

  20. Rockin' Kat Says:

    If you see nothing, you probably have ad blocker on. ;-)

  21. Rockin' Kat Says:

    ..As someone else clearly already said earlier.

    In other notes… I wish ad banners were still this small.

  22. Bajax Says:

    Does no one else find it incredibly hilarious that adblock blocks these? Their blacklist goes back 20 years.

  23. Danforth Vista Says:

    I really miss those old websites. Everytime you open them up, you see lots of GIFs and animated images, fancily dancing on the page. How fun it is to look at them :(

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