Monday, March 16, 2009

Online Ads: Will Fewer, but Bigger, Be Better?

Robert D. Hol’s article, “Online Ads: Will Fewer, but Bigger, Be Better?” is about how numerous popular Web publishers are adopting a new display-ad format that they expect will captivate viewers and ultimately increase revenues. In the past few years, search advertisements have been booming while online display ads have decreased. The Online Publishers Association (OPA) announced last week that there will be three new display-ad formats that will hopefully engage readers more fully and allow online publishers to charge advertisers more. The new display ads will be bigger than standard display ads and will be more interactive. A unique aspect about the new ads is that it will allow viewers to bookmark them the same way one can bookmark a website, that way the viewer can go back to them at a later time. The article goes into further detail describing the “trio of new display-ad formats.” A few of the major Web publishers that are going to use the new ads are BusinessWeek, The New York Times, Time, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, USA Today, and several others that will, in total, account for two-thirds of the U.S. Internet audience. I think the new display-ads will catch on and definitely engage viewers more. I know that I personally ignore advertisements that I see on websites and cannot recall the last time I clicked one on the side of a web site. With fewer but bigger advertisements per page one may be more likely to focus in on the specific ad. These new display-ads will be an alternative to the “cheap ads” on many sites that “many premium sites think are devaluing their ad space.” The article goes on to talk about the ads taking over more of the screen and “in a potentially interruptive way for the user. If they annoy more than they engage, such ads could backfire.” I have the same concern regarding the ads because if the new interactive advertisement appears and maybe is too crazy or annoying it could cause the viewer to become annoyed and leave the site. The new ads are meant to “give more room for creativity to brand marketers” which could lead to advertisements that are too crazy or too outrageous. Andres Combuechen, CEO and chief creative officer of Atmosphere BBDO, the digital agency of agency giant BBDQ said, “The industry needs something new to get reinvigorated.” If the web has been lacking in innovation in this field I think it is a good idea to look towards alternative options. Marketers these days measure the success of advertisements by measuring the number of clicks, but how the new advertisements success will be measured is still unknown. Many believe that the web has become a “sewer” and that it needs to be renovated with new innovative aspects, such as these new display-ads. The new display-ads will hopefully give advertisers more “flexible, creative ways to engage with potential customers.”

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