The Rise And Fall Of Banner Ads

June 03, 2021

As the web has evolved, so have the forms of advertising on it. Nearly twenty years ago, a team of well-meaning designers and coders inadvertently unleashed on an unsuspecting world: the static banner ad. 

The first banner ads were rectangular advertisements that appeared at the top of a web page. They made their debut in 1994 and featured the “click here” button and a generic headline. Static banner ads quickly caught on at early tech companies such as Yahoo, eBay, AT&T, and Wired Magazine who used them to promote their brands. The early versions were a resounding success, garnering attention from online audiences.

Banners Ads – Entertainment On Web 

As technology evolved, so did the banner ads. To garner more eyeballs, banners now came with motion graphics, sound, and video to capture the human eyeball’s attention. Some would say, banner ads ruined the appearance and usability of the web and even prevented the reading of the content on the page. As people increased their tolerance for banner ads, they have gradually become ineffective in driving traffic to web pages.

Privacy Advocates Have Banners In Sight

Recent changes to privacy rules have also brought into question the pixels behind the banner ads that track your movement across the web to improve the effectiveness of the ads. As Apple and other companies re-evaluate the importance of privacy, the likelihood of banner ads to remain as the driver for online traffic is changing.

The banner ad was born out of necessity, in a rush for advertising to monetize the web. The banner ad was a natural for filling up the spaces in early browsers. Advertisers were forced to make banners in standard sizes and formats because that was what most websites were running. Today, the banner ad is in decline. With the evolution of the web to include mobile, social world, and apps–most people are now spending time using apps that load faster and deliver more customized information than websites.

Have banner ads become the interstate highway of out-of-control capitalism? For those who do not want to see banner ads, there are blockers. But why did the banner ads fail?

  1. Many banner ads are simply not relevant to website visitors. A visitor seeking information on a health matter, for example, may find no value for a discount at Ski resort. Banner ads are not tailored enough to the audience, hence, the click-through rate for banner ads has plummeted from its high point.
  2. Many banner ads are designed in gaudy, highly contrasting colors for people to notice. However, people started viewing them as interruptions and began ignoring them.
  3. Only 2.8 percent of users find banner ads are relevant. Is there a point then?
  4. Content marketing is more effective than banner ads. Content is the secret sauce. Because it provides answers to prospective customers, blogs are more effective in conveying more information to prospects. 

Banner Ads Are A Thing Of the Past – Is There A Better Alternative?

Many companies who had previously thought of using banner ads as an integral part of their communications strategy should think of new ways of reaching the prospect. Segment marketing is a viable way to shift to a well-defined customer, such as an affluent South Asian American who is tech savvy and desires new products and services. 

Content marketing is also another approach in helping prospective customers make up their mind rather than relying on the hard sell. Over time, content that is helpful builds trust and loyalty. 

At FrontAd we have an ecosystem of websites that delivers useful information to the affluent, top 1 % of South Asian Americans with $1.3 trillion in buying power. This highly skilled and tech savvy customer is open to digital marketing.

Knowledge Speaks, Wisdom Listens

As you segment your marketing, FrontAd can put your brand in front of a new generation of affluent buyers emotionally open to new digital experiences. To effectively market to the wealthy South Asian demographic, your messaging has to be tailor made for the audience. Here are some helpful suggestions:

  1. Use a consistent set of imagery and icons. South Asian Americans prefer clean, modern-looking designs. 
  1. Design with a bold typography set in a distinct color. Sometimes you don’t need icons or illustrative elements to make your presentation look professional. 
  1. Illustrations that are not cliché can communicate a sense of creativity. Illustrations also convey a sense of informality which may depend on your product or service.
  1. Don’t be afraid to use a vast color palette. South Asian Americans love color. From blue, blue-green, light-green, red-orange, light orange, to yellow-orange experiment with color.
  1. Use photography. Photos can be used in the foreground or background. Try not to feature someone looking straight at the camera. Experiment with filters and don’t go for the bland.
  1. Bring new meaning with headlines and messaging. Use words as texture to communicate your brand promise with style.
  1. Balance your unique selling proposition with a visual aid. Aim for simplicity and consistency.
  1. Maintain consistency in the campaign. This means sticking with the color palette and imagery.

South Asian Americans Are Open To New Experiences

Marketing to affluent South Asian Americans doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes all it takes is the right set of icons, font, or just one distinct color to bring your communication to life. 

South Asian Americans have an appreciation for:

  1. Aesthetic
  2. Value the imagination
  3. Understanding of inner emotions 
  4. Need variety
  5. Intellectually curious about learning or new things

As a group, South Asian Americans are open to learning, meeting new people, trying new food, and are always aware of alternative viewpoints.

How is FrontAd Different From Facebook & Other Social Media Ads?

FrontAd makes targeting affluent South Asian American consumers easy and enhances the connection between wealthy tech savvy customers with digital brands. 

1 in 3 well-to-do South Asian American is on the FrontAd ecosystem at least once a day. FrontAd is unique due to aggregation of prosperous South Asian Americans on the high-traffic websites that make up the platform. 

Facebook and social media companies monetize their user base through advertising. However, marketers are questioning the effectiveness of social ads, because they interrupt the user experience of connecting with friends and are becoming increasingly ineffective.

Getting Bigger Results With FrontAd Than Banners Or Social

Although people do not like banner ads on websites or social ads while on mobile, they do love it when they get communication in a format that enhances their lives from brands that offer long-term value. 

Marketers now have a new creative way for achieving their aims by adequately targeting a new, affluent South Asian American consumer. By offering a unique value on FrontAd, marketers can expand their offerings and differentiate themselves while increasing demand.