Why Are Banner Ads All Over the Web, If No One Likes Them?

An explanation in two sentences.
yourcompanyhere_615.jpg


Banner ads are a weird thing. Many advertisers wish they worked better. Many publishers wish they sold better. Readers wish they didn't exist, or at least looked better. And yet, they persist as the dominant form of advertising that supports content on the web. Why? Brian Morissey at Digiday provides a just-flip-enough explanation for this apparent conundrum:

"Agencies know how to build and buy them; publishers know how to sell them."
He has more than that to say, of course, but that's the main thrust of the argument. Banner ads scale easily; banner ads look like the kind of "creative" people are used to; and banner ads sell like print ads ("Put your pictures and words near our pictures and words!")

Any new model for online advertising (say, BuzzFeed's social ads) has an uphill battle. They not only have to sell ads. They have to sell the very idea of a new kind of advertising.

Perhaps, though, the change is going to come soon. Everyone knows advertising on the web should be more interesting. And not just to increase brand recall. All the creatives at agencies I've met really want to do new things. They are just itching to do awesome stuff, and yet most of the time, they're designing flash banners that sit next to completely unrelated articles on some website, not making Super Bowl commercials like they thought they might.
Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In