15 Fast Facts About Banner Advertisements

Online Banner Advertising

It is generally accepted that the first online banner advertisement appeared in 1994 and was for the telecommunications company AT&T. This ground breaking advertisement appeared on the web magazine site Hotwired. In homage to its 20 year anniversary, here are 15 fast facts about the humble online banner advertisement:

1.Over 5.3 trillion display ads were served to U.S. users last year. (ComScore)
2. That’s 1 trillion more than 2009. (ComScore)
3. The typical Internet user is served 1,707 banner ads per month. (Comscore)
4. Click-through rates are .1% (DoubleClick)
5. The 468 x 60 banner has a .04% click rate. (DoubleClick)
6. An estimated 31% of ad impressions can’t be viewed by users. (Comscore)
7. The display advertising Lumascape has 318 logos. (Luma Partners)
8. 8% of Internet users account for 85% of clicks. (ComScore)
9. Up to 50% of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (GoldSpot Media)
10. Mobile CPMs are 75 cents. (Kleiner Perkins)
11. You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad. (Solve Media)
12. 15% of people trust banner ads completely or somewhat, compared to 29 percent for TV ads. (eMarketer)
13. 34% don’t trust banner ads at all or much, compared to 26 percent for magazine ads. (eMarketer)
14. 25-34-year olds see 2,094 banner ads per month. (ComScore)
15. 445 different advertisers delivered more than a billion banner ads in 2012. (ComScore)

Setting aside the above facts, here are some different metrics which online advertisers should consider for banner based campaigns apart from the widely used CTR metric:

  • Ad Engagement – No industry standard definition yet, but primarily reviewing if the ad creative is appealing and if a user interacted with the ad in any way such as a mouse over the ad for a certain period of time.
  • Display time – The time for which the ad was visible on the page.
  • Engagement Time – The time for which user interacted with the ad.
  • As per Google, Technology is helping advertisers factor in- emotional engagement and impact on offline behavior (like in-store shopping choices) as display advertising metrics to measure a campaign’s ROI.
  • Rich Media? – Rich media, so far, has proved to be very effective at improving ad engagement. From videos to games to carousels and forms, all available in the banner ad. A 2012 study by media mind states that rich media ads are three times more likely to bring prospects to your websites than traditional banner ads. According to ClickZ, rich media advertisements can generate 6 times higher engagement rates than static display ads.
  • Different way of Targeting? – Google primarily uses contextual targeting to put ads on publishers’ website. No doubt this is the best option available for advertisers at the moment but this clearly isn’t working very well. Facebook lets you use “Custom Audiences”, or in a way allows you to target users on the basis of their profile, demographics and how they have interacted with your website or content, but again, we know that the CTR on Facebook is generally much lower, in comparison. A better way would be to use targeting in a different way. For example, this is the reason why retargeting ads work better than normal ads. Similarly, letting user take control of what they want to see and what they don’t want to see, can help increase the Ad engagement and CTR. This can be accomplished by a simple ad feedback system such as the one which is offered by Adzerk and currently in use on many popular sites like Reddit and stack-overflow. It lets users give a thumbs up or down to an advertisement.
  • Fewer Ads? – Google predicts that by 2015, the average number of banner ads seen by an internet user will decline by at least 25%. People will see less banner ads but the ones they will see, will be more relevant and connect with the user which will take up the engagement rate.
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