I bang on about this a bit, but I still think there’s a big job for everyone to do around digital display media and impact and cut through.
Right now, my concern is the IAB standard ads are not the right ad format for the medium – not by a mile.
There’s two core issues.
1/ Standardised ads are being ignored by many consumers and creative agencies are struggling to build great executions due to file size and other restrictions
2/ The way people use the web is incredibly fast and transactional and a 15 second transitional Flash ad will always struggle when page dwell time is around 30 seconds to a minute.
Anyway – when I bring it up generally I get a polite ‘that’s good to know’ and that’s about it. For me the issue is incredibly relevant as it makes it tough to recommend some digital options if at best you’ll get your clients brand a brief glance.
Now, before anyone says ‘oh but people ignore TV and newspaper and magazine ads’ just stop now. It’s a tired argument and it’s used by people that want to hide behind the perceived inadequacies of other media instead of fixing what needs to be fixed.
Anyway I saw this article in AdWeek which was called ‘Ads Most Ignored vs. Ads Most Heeded’
From the article: “An AdweekMedia/Harris Poll this month asked adults to cite the form of advertising they “tend to ignore or disregard the most.” Atop the list, picked by 46 percent, were “Internet banner ads.” And the runner-up was “Internet search-engine ads,” picked by 17 percent. TV advertising was the only other genre in double digits (13 percent).”
There’s been some progress made in 2009 with more page dominant ad units and takeovers/skins etc … but is it enough?
The article also dispells a few commonly shouted beliefs from the digital cheerleaders around medium effectiveness – anyway take a look.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, there’s no dispute of the eyeballs online in a digital sense … but there is concern around the impact of ads in the medium and this is probably (as well as better measurement in terms of results and audience) the main issue facing all involved.
From a work perspective the main things I am looking at now when evaluating options are
1/ Effective CPM. It’s easy to work a CPM back to an effective CPM based on your target. Try it and look to benchmark with other media and I bet it’ll surprise you
2/ Engagement. Page duration is a key metric as it has a direct influence on how much attention someone can pay to your brands message. Is your agency/digital advisor etc giving you insight around this?
3/ Rationale and qual insights. A publisher competing for your money should be expected to give you a solid, concise overview on the audience, their motivations, their habits and content preferences. Not just a UB figure. If they can’t they are just an order taker and with a market this competitive you can leave the order takers and focus on those who actually know their product.