I was pretty surprised to read this article in Contagious about Display Advertising. Chris Kempt-Salt, MD and founder of Kempt, talks about the future of display advertising and how he sees the market changing.
Chris states that "display advertising online is doomed. Users don’t notice it, click-through rates are poor and I hear that even advertisers are wising up and spends are falling fast."
I understand that Chris is coming from a UK point of view but I don't see there being very much of a difference between the UK and Ireland, and I think he's completely wrong. While he does go on to clarify his position, and says that it's all a case of there being too much advertising online, I still find myself coming back to his statement that clickthrough rates are poor and spends are falling. I would say nothing is further from the truth. On at least 4 of the last 5 advertising campaigns I've worked on, the CTRs have not only exceeded industry standards but have done so by 350% to 500%. I see CTRs going up, I see conversions increasing, and I see spends growing. Display advertising isn't just alive, but it's well and truely kicking.
One thing that I do agree with Chris on is his analysis of display advertising density. Chris takes the example of FHM.com and how display advertising features on a typical page. On a typical page there could be three different ad positions: banner, skyscraper and an MPU sitting around a 300 to 400 word article. This translates to the following:
- Above the fold on a 1024x768 screen, the content takes up 195930 pixels while the ad positions take up 143340 pixels
- That equals 42% of the combined area being used for ads
- Consider that TV advertising in the UK is restricted to seven minutes of advertising per hour (11%)
- In the US, television uses 27% of airtime for advertising
So what does it all mean?
My experience is that display advertising is not dead or dying, and as for the amount of space used - I don't have a majot issue at all. The death of online display ads will only come through a lack of creativity and innovation from advertisers. Push boundries, use AR, incorporate games and interactive engagements, or simply create stunning visuals. Advertising is built on innovation and creativity, when they die, advertising will die.