Someone searching for flights between Dallas and Phoenix, meanwhile, could be served an ad with specific up-to-the-minute fares from a particular airline, along with a button that says "buy now," all within the ad, said Yahoo spokeswoman Gaude Paez.

"We do behavioral targeting now," she said. "This makes display (advertising) more of a direct-response vehicle than just branding."

Yahoo SmartAds combines Yahoo's demographic, geographic and behavioral-targeting capabilities with a new patent-pending creative ad assembly platform that allows the company's ad system to create customized ads in real time. Yahoo will get different backgrounds, logos and other features from the creative agencies that can be reconfigured with ad copy based on who is seeing the ad and what they are interested in.

The company is launching ads with two major airline companies as well as some travel aggregators, none of which wanted to be identified, Paez said.

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