Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Banner Ads - The Invisible Impression

To all my friends on the internets at events...I have a question...

How many digital banners have you ever clicked? The only ones I have clicked are by accident. I keep wracking my brain on ways to redefine the banner ad...what if it was a player that played content...what if it was an ad that I put my email into and got free content....

The unfortunate impotence of the banner ad these days when the consumer is bombarded by them grows and grows...just talk to the magazine industry, which has now evolved into a party promoting industry....

Magazines, like all media outlets survive on great content...yet somehow that content is expected to be funded through banner ads and subscriptions...

To all the digital marketers in the's time to reinvent the banner ad. To all the print advertisers in the house my favorite new invention is the ability to snap a photo of a QRC code to enter a new realm of experience, or Augmented Reality - which had better be totally cool if you're going to compel me to download a new app to experience it.

As a New York Times, Netflix, Wired, Fast Company subscriber, I'll happily pay to consume their content because its incredible, but the ads are something I whiz by in a blur, unless I get something free or access to something I wouldn't necessarily get to experience from engaging with them - think Mortal Kombat's Easter Eggs...

I heard that the local editorial division of the Onion was shut down in Austin, but they kept the ad sales division open to sell more adverts that are untrackable in print after being purchased by the Chicago Tribune. Has the Tribune been living in a vacuum?

In the sales driven world of recession marketing, ROI is king, and being able to quantify the value of a marketing dollar is paramount...that's why the world of events are struggling along side the world of print and banner advertising to get the formerly high price point they used to fetch as potential advertisers get more and more scrutinous how their budgets are being spent.

Then on to the world of Event Marketing. If I could replace every banner with a well designed kiosk that allowed me to play a game, download free content, post a cool photo of your truly, or interact in some way, I may be up to engage...but banners hanging in the halls just make my eyes blur and my brain shut down.

As social media marketing budgets continue to take up more and more of a marketers budgets, the reasons are obvious.

Events riding on the 'influencer' element can only be tracked by an email RSVP with some sophisticiated back end that gives demographic information by piping in via Facebook, but no one can tell if that influencer actually showed...

Social media allows marketers and audiences alike to track the level of engagement that a marketing message has in real time - ie tweets, likes, votes, and shares are the contemporary currency of the day.

I get that banner ads let us know when a product is in the marketplace, so they do pass on a key piece of sales info...but banners to drive general awareness? Can you call that strategy?

Quantifiable results are the obvious way forward, so why do I keep seeing banner ads at the parties I go to, the sites I visit, and the billboards I drive by?

Oh, another robot is coming soon to a theater near me...guess I'll netflix queue after I read the editorial coverage and six of my peers tell me its awesome, unless rewatching Breaking Bad gets to me first.


  1. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.
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