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The Banner Ad is Not Dead. It Reinvented Itself!


What is a banner ad today?

This is a question that has been following me for the last few months. Because today’s banner ad that everybody talks about is the same banner ad that most advertisers used in their digital campaign 10-15 years ago.

That banner ad that you won’t click is the same banner ad you saw 10-15 years ago on a big display while flash elements pop up in your face.

So for me it’s kind of funny to look at tweets and mentions on conferences discussing about banner ads and saying “You’re 64 times more likely to climb Mount Everest than click on a banner ad” or “It’s more likely you will survive a plane crash or win the lottery than click a banner ad.

It’s like saying that you want to customize your Facebook profile page with red or green and you don’t like what Mark & co. are doing today with the blue-white-grain design. So social media will die the same way hi5 or Ringo died a few years ago. Ha ha ha (evil laugh).

It’s like talking about doing 2016 marketing the same way they’ve done in 2000.

But let’s get back to banner ads.

Why people should stop talking about the death of banner ads

Because we need to stop killing things and start designing them better and create a better experience for the user on this wild web network.

And who is responsible for this? The agency and the brand. So who plays a part in this? Marketers, advertisers, designers, developers and other professionals who can make something better than it was before.

So, let’s get back to my question, what is a banner ad today?

It’s an actionable image.

It’s that image you see on your daily news website, on your favorite social network or on your favorite blogger’s home page. It’s the one of the kind image that makes you click on it because it will give you something back. And even if you don’t click it, maybe you will complete a survey, take a poll or fill in your e-mail to get the newest e-book or guide.

Every Facebook ad is a banner ad, every Instagram ad is a banner ad, every Linkedin ad is a banner ad, every Promoted Pin is a banner ad. They just changed their name and they have a new inventory.

Back in the day, a banner ad used to have an inventory on a web page, but know, a banner ad can have an inventory on a social network. So it’s the same kind of image we saw on web pages, 10 or 15 years ago, that does the same thing (you click on it) but on a different platform. So, is the banner ad dead? No. It just changed the place where it lives. It reinvented itself.

[Tweet “A banner ad is an actionable image that will give you something back. “]

So why do we blame the banner ad?

Is it because it interrupts the user? Then blame the one who put it there. Is it because it’s ugly and you don’t want to click it? Blame the one who accepted the design. Is it because there are too many banner ads? Blame it on the one who is responsible for putting them over there.

What if we should design a better experience for the users but at the same time help brands get to those users without being annoying or too aggressive?

Is there a way to make a web page that doesn’t hate ads? Yes there is. By putting the right thing in the right place. Just like you want to put a ball in a round hole, or a square in a cubic hole.

So, who is responsible for this?

We, the people who work in a great industry such as digital marketing, should create that kind of web pages that don’t hate ads, that don’t interrupt the user from consuming the content and also offer a great opportunity to find something new.

For this, we need to understand how to create a better experience with that actionable image.

This is why, at Bannersnack, we are about to launch the feature that will help every digital marketer, designer and entrepreneur learn more on how to design a banner ad.

This feature will give the professionals more than some clicks and views.

And you want to stay tuned for the next episode:)

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Robert Katai

Content Marketing Strategist

"Content isn’t king. Usefulness is. Robert does this in the online marketing and social media space with ease."

Ram Castillo