… But who really wants to celebrate?
It might come as a surprise to some, but the online banner ad is 20 years old this year.
In general, 20 years doesn’t seem very old, but in the online word, 20 years is ancient.
Simply put, banner ads represent the geriatric ward of online advertising.
In fact, there’s very little to love anymore about an advertising tool that once seemed so fresh and new … and now seems so tired and worn-out.
Furthermore, banner ads are a symbol of what’s wrong with online advertising. They’re unwelcome. They intrude on people’s web experience. And they’re ignored by nearly everyone.
But despite all of this, banner ads are as ubiquitous as ever.
Consider these stats as reported by Internet analytics company ComScore:
- The number of display ads served in the United States approaches 6 trillion annually.
- Fewer than 500 different advertisers alone are responsible for delivering 1 billion of these ads.
- The typical Internet user is served about 1,700 banner ads per month. (For 25 to 34 year-olds, it’s around 2,100 per month.)
- Approximately 30% of banner ad impressions are non-viewable.
- According to DoubleClick, Google’s ad serving services subisidary, banner ads have a click rate of .04% (4 out of every 10,000 served) for ads sized 468×60 pixels.
- According to GoldSpot Media, as many as 50% of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental.
- According to ComScore, just 8% of Internet users are responsible for ~85% of the clicks on banner ads.
Come to think of it, “banner blindness” seems wholly appropriate for an advertising vehicle that’s as old as this one is in the web world.
The final ignominy is that people trust banner ads even less than they do TV ads: 15% vs. 29%, according to a survey conducted by market research company eMarketer.
Despite the drumbeat of negative news and bad statistics, banner advertising continues to be a bulwark of the online advertising system.
Publishers love them because they’re easy to produce and cost practically nothing to run.
Ad clients understand them better than other online promotional tactics, so they’re easier to sell either as premium content or as part of ad networks and exchanges.
There’s plenty of talk about native advertising, sponsored content and many other advertising tactics that seem a lot fresher and newer than banner ads. But I suspect we’ll continue to be inundated with them for years to come.
What do you think? Do you have a different prediction? Please share your thoughts with other readers here.