Banner Ads – Dead or Alive?

Banner Ads – Dead or Alive?

Banner ads have been around for more than 20 years and are pretty much everywhere on the internet, waiting for you to scroll or click on a specific link so they can pounce and earn your attention and ultimately your click. Banners come in all sizes and shapes, but all of them share one key role; to market a service or product.

Several have predicted the death of this digital ad concept, nevertheless it resides on for one reason alone, the banner ad remains a very important component in an effective digital marketing and advertising media plan. Banner ads can increase profits, conversions and help grow your database.

Hotwired produced the first-ever banner ad on October 27, 1994. “Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE?” The ad asked. “YOU WILL” it replied. The advertisement space for this banner was purchased at the time, for three complete months for $30,000. The click through rate was a whopping 44%! (Source:

These types of CTR’s are no longer realistic.  People do not like being invaded by advertising which is not related to them. Actually, visitors dislike onsite advertisements so much that advertising blocker usage surged 30% in 2016 (  But, an ad that is tailored to a consumer’s wants and needs will be seen as interesting and is more likely to get a click.

Another reason banner advertisements have a bad rep is that early on in the internet’s rise to fame, banner ads were used everywhere, basically as SPAM! Fast forward to 2018, and people still regard banner ads as a pain. Research from PageFair indicates that 309 million people (16 percent of the planet’s 1.9 billion Smartphone consumers) are blocking ads on the mobile net (source:

Many businesses use banner advertisements inefficiently and this blocks their path to success. Below is a listing of items which fuel an ineffective banner:

  • Full Page Ads – Consumers typically dislike banner ads that cover the content of the page they are reading. Putting the ad in a predetermined place is more likely to acquire a click as it permits the user to browse the content on the webpage and visit the advertisement (wherever it’s located on the page) within their own time to click on it. The ad should not be forced on the consumer; they’re on your own website to view the content, not the banner ads that block them from reading it.
  • Irrelevant Banners — Banner ads which aren’t tailored to the demands of the user is going to be a waste. A person searching for cheap homes and exploring creative home buying options isn’t going to react to an advertisement for a million plus dollar home in a luxurious neighborhood.
  • Mobile UNfriendly Banners — The vast majority of people today use their mobile phones to access content. Mobile users who can’t find the whole advertisement or lose out on the information because of size, color or animation speed of the ad won’t ever understand your marketing message, thus you eliminate a potential customer.

As time goes on, banner ads will change and grow with the technology available.  As ad blockers and ad restrictions ultimately increase, other options will be invented to continue to reach consumers on their phone or computer. In general, these ads won’t ever die; they will evolve and improve, just like the media buying process.

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