The Death of the Banner Revisited

The banner ad’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. Even though it’s responsible for a $15 billion industry in U.S. display advertising, the banner sometimes seems universally reviled. Nobody — not publishers, agencies or tech platforms — seems happy with Internet display advertising as it currently stands. Leaving aside the vast targeting industrial complex, there’s the existential question for banners: Would publishers use them now if they were starting from scratch? The answer is probably no, especially when you look at the birth of “native monetization” formats on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and the rest. They’re all turning their backs on “traditional” online display advertising. James Gross, a cofounder of content-curation tool Percolate, sees this as spelling the eventual demise of the display ad — or at very least its radical transformation.

This new world with no special box is a big shift from a brand perspective and these platforms will all force companies to act more human and interesting in nature. Creating, liking, Tumbling, pinning and publishing alongside others in a way similar to how we all use these channels today. Of course, this is not a new thought, but the interesting twist I would put on it is brands, in theory, have the advertising money to buy an audience much bigger than we can afford as people, or even publishers, on these channels.

Read Gross’ full article on AdAge. Follow him on Twitter @james_gross.

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