Endangered Ads: 3 Digital Ad Formats That Are Dying (Hopefully)

By Leo Heijbel May 7, 2018

Tags marketing

Reading 5 min

Wow! Worldwide spends on digital advertising has reached an all-time high, again. Anyone surprised? Didn’t think so. Does this mean that all types of digital advertising are here to stay? Hopefully not. This is my prediction for three soon-to-be-endangered digital advertising formats. In a not-so-distant future, we’ll probably find them at some obscure ad museum together with the pop-up ad. By the way, am I the only one who really wants to see a museum like that?

Extinct-formats

 

 

1. The Autoplay Video Ad (Yes, muted too)
The autoplay video. We’ve all experienced the jump-scare effect when your speakers suddenly start blaring out an advertising message from a video that was set to autoplay. At least today, most sites have the decency to mute the video as the default setting. The problem unfortunately still exists. Autoplay is not user-friendly. It is typically found only on sites that want to sell ads that no one is willing to watch. As a publishing exec once said to Digiday: “It’s a shit experience whether you mute it or not...we’re all mercenary, but we need a dose of self-awareness.”

The only reason that autoplay videos still exist is that they are a cash cow. However, as marketing is moving more and more towards engagement metrics, the data will reveal the weakness in autoplay and will naturally pivot toward click-and-play formats, where you got the attention of the target group.

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2. The Huge Banner
Once upon a time, you could not enter a website without huge banners covering most of the screen. Marketers saw this as the only way to drive engagement and attention from the user to their ads. This trend is, thankfully, fading away. Marketers of today focus on more engaging tools. For example, native advertising has been shown to be over 50% more efficient when it comes to generating leads. This trend is further accelerated by the increasing number of people using their mobile phones to access the internet instead of desktop computers or laptops. The click-through-rates on banners are even lower on mobile, so the banner trend is, thankfully, dying quickly.

3. The Prestitial Countdown Ad
Prestitial what?? This is also called a takeover ad. It’s the ad that loads just before the actual content you want to reach. Sometimes it has a countdown timer before you are allowed to move on. Since February, 2018, Google has integrated an adblocker into its widely used web browser, Google Chrome—which, by the way, has a 59% market share. Google Chrome does not block all ads, only the ones deemed most intrusive. The level of ‘intrusiveness’ is determined with research from The Coalition for Better Ads. Its research is based on surveys from over 40,000 people who identified the worst offenders in marketing. The prestitial countdown ad was perceived as one of the worst and most intrusive ad formats. Do I need to say anything more?

And the runner-up...

...The Retargeting Banner on Sites
Oh, you looked at a pair of pants on an e-commerce site the other day? We will hunt you down and follow you around online showing you pictures of those pants for the rest of your life. There is a strong trend in both society and amongst certain companies to move away from this strategy. Apple’s browser, Safari, now has anti-tracking features, making it impossible to retarget someone after 24 hours. (Which reportedly means over $20 million lost revenue per quarter for the ad network Criteo.) On top of this, Europe instituted a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that requires active consent to use your data in the way that retargeting networks have done before.

See a pattern here?
Yes, intrusive formats are on the retreat. This is part of a major trend where marketers shift from push marketing to pull marketing. Brands worldwide must now try to earn the interest and attention of the audience, instead of demanding it. It is probably not a coincidence, but when you look at the growth of online advertising, it’s actually quite obvious that Facebook and Google, who both have a huge piece of the growth, mainly offer ad formats that are not as intrusive. That is also why we believe in native advertising as a format at Strossle—it’s a perfect way to distribute your content and find readers.

Want to know more about how well non-intrusive formats perform? Read this post about the best performing native ads. 

Leo Heijbel
Head of Marketing

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