Display advertising was designed to work inside a traditional media format, tailored to a certain context of media use. As this use-context changes with the accessibility of new technology – as readers become participants, as media gets integrated into everyday life and exported outside the browser – these formats don’t fit the context anymore and start to loose their effectiveness.
This is similar to saying “digital didn’t change anything, but everything digital changed”. Because with the advent of the Internet (before broadband) the old models didn’t really change that much, they just got digitalized –the use pattern stayed the same (looking at use statistics we see that the older the citizen the more similar their use of digital media is to traditional media). What we are seeing now is the alteration of the core concepts of the use part – which has a much greater effect on media and advertising than just moving some stuff from one platform to the other.
Regarding click-rates on online banners we’ve moved from being told a 0,15% click average is good to a 0.05%. This isn’t necessarily because we’ve got lower expectations. It might just be because the average drops – because the advertising formats aren’t following the changes in consumption patterns.
Now we are very busy measuring the amount of media consumption, and supporters point to every research showing an increase. But this only points to the amount of media consumed, not the pattern of the consumption – and this is where stuff has changed…
In other words, there is a new context for using media, and measuring how much we use it isn’t helpful as it isn’t relevant. What is useful is understanding how the use has changed, and figuring out how this should change media – and its advertising..