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April 14, 2008 / davebirss

Is TV ready to be toppled?

Smashed TV

I read in Campaign today that internet advertising revenue in the UK is about to eclipse TV advertising revenue in the next year. Interesting. But I’m not seeing this as a reason to stick two fingers up at traditional agencies and gloat that digital is the future. No siree. It seems that the figures they’re talking about are from online display ads – banners to you and me – and paid for search. Two things that I’m not a great fan of. And I think that this area of online is just as broken as the traditional linear TV model.

So you heard me right- I don’t like banner advertising. As an all-round advertising whore, I’ve done lots of work in DM where response rates are considered to be high if they’re 2%. Banner advertising is about 100th of that. In fact, I think I could count on one hand how many banners I’ve clicked on in my entire life. And with ad blocking browser plug-ins growing in popularity, I can’t help but wonder if they’ll go the way of the pop up.

I just don’t think this kind of self-interested approach to communications is using the internet at its best. It’s much better to give potential customers a positive brand experience that will get them talking or give them a good feeling or make their life easier. That’s what I want from a brand – that they care about me before they expect me to care about them.

Am I wrong here? Am I just a cynical old hack? Am I a Utopian idealist? Or am I a realist who would rather give a client something that has a positive impact in the lives of their customers?

What do you think?


Leave a Comment
  1. Hayes / Apr 19 2008 2:51 pm

    Hmm, yes a lot of banners are shit.

    And yes I probably went about seven years without EVER clicking on a single one.

    But don’t you think they’re getting a little better?

    And have you never been even a tiny bit intrigued to click on one or two?

    I’d like to give you specific examples of good banners but I can’t (yes, that’s probably bad.) But I still have the impression that they’re getting better. Some of them feature just such pretty pictures – and ooh look they’re moving!

    There was an interesting post on Adlab once about banners that said something about their effect even if no-one clicked on them. But it could be bollocks. There’s a post somewhere on my blog with a link to it if you can be arsed.


  2. A Jolly Good Egg / Apr 29 2008 2:13 pm

    One problem I have with banners from the point of view of having to make one is the crappy format – rediculously tall and skinny, or wide and stingily high.
    I mean can you imagine books being printed on something like ticker tape, or films being shot through a crack in a door (pervy intentions aside).

    pile of crap.

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