Bad News for Banner Advertising


Even though we have seen a burst in new advertising opportunities on Facebook and social networks in general, the majority of the advertising we see on these networks is still composed mostly of the ever famous standard banner ads. In a survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of MediaBrix, a social network branding company, banner ads just are not pulling in the results that they used to. It seems that people are now starting to prefer the more interactive, fun ads over the simple square blocks of text that have been so reliable over the years. I suppose it is just getting harder to hold the attention of the everyday social media user.

The results of the survey said that only 28% of Facebook app users were gans of standard banner ads in Facebook applications, while 72% preferred the new, more interactive advertisements. Also, 40% of respondents with smartphones stated that they prefer banner ads in mobile apps. To counter that, the other 60% of smartphone owners said they still prefer the interactive and immersive ads in mobile social apps.

According to the press release:

 Given that standard banner advertising comprises a significant amount of advertising running across social and mobile apps, the survey findings indicate that there are inadequacies in the way that social and mobile developers are monetizing. Additionally, the survey findings reveal that the digital advertising industry needs new creative advertising formats for social and mobile platforms to keep with consumer preferences.

Putting the subject of banner ads aside, the survey also took note on the preferences of Facebook users regarding video advertisements. The results showed that 37% of respondents that were Facebook app users liked the pre-roll video ads that play prior to access to the app. The majority, 63%, preferred the video ads that they could choose to play or the ones that are shown during natural breaks such as loading screens and turn changes in games.

A bit of good news, however, is that 87% of respondents preferred the free apps that are supported by ads over apps they have to pay for. People do not mind an ad popping up here and there if it means they can play or use an app for free. It’s beneficial to advertisers in that people actually choose to see the advertisements, instead of being forced to see them. Free, ad-supported apps receive the most use over those that require payment.

So, banner ads are going down in popularity. It was bound to happen eventually, with all the newer ad formats that exist now. Banner ads will still be effective for quite a while, but this survey shows that they are bound to become essentially useless someday. Until then, they can still bring in sufficient conversions for advertisers, but other formats may bring more. Judging by the consumer preferences shown in the survey, video ads are what are grabbing attention today, but where to place them is an important consideration.

What's your opinion?