Good old banner advertising has been getting a lot of negative press lately. Long gone are the days when banner advertising was getting double-digit click-through rates. Although the simple banner ad was the backbone that built the modern internet we know and love, today there are a number of converging market developments as well as lots of newer and shinier toys that are quickly making the simple banner ad a thing of the past.
On a macro level, the huge influx of display inventory over the last five years combined with the move by agencies towards programmatic buying have strongly reduced the value of the banner ad. Agencies are quickly looking to new formats in a quest to shore up their margins again.
From the other side of the equation, brand advertisers are seeking ad formats that create a deeper emotional connection with their audience and create brand experiences rather than simple push marketing. Many are turning to ‘native ads‘ – non-standard formats that try to insert advertising into the content and design of publisher pages. These formats are still not very scalable, but in any case are more interesting and deliver superior results to the classic banner.
The rise of mobile devices, where banner ads are fairly irrelevant, has also played an important role in reducing the importance of the banner.Although no one has yet really cracked the mobile advertising puzzle, the one thing that everyone agrees upon is that classical banners are not it.
Finally, the global growth in bandwidth as well as the increasing power of video ad servers to deliver scalable video advertising is quickly shifting the focus for everyone in the industry away from static display towards video. Experts in this field even believe that video advertising will make display completely irrelevant over the next few years.
Although I personally feel some nostalgia for the banner ad, overall i’m not sad to see it go. Although display had its time and place, and i’m sure that campaign managers will still book it as low-cost backups to their new creative ideas for years to come, the future belongs to immersive, moving, exciting new formats that will thrill viewers!