I have a pretty good memory – I’m the kind of guy that could tell you what they had for breakfast three weeks ago. But you know what I can’t remember? The last time a banner ad convinced me to buy something.
I mean it. I can’t recall ever looking at a tiny, low res picture of an artist I’ve never heard of and thinking: “Yeah, you know what, I will shell out twenty bucks to pre-order this album because that press shot and call to action convinced me.”
I’m not alone in that either. Banner ads are going the way of the dinosaurs – a recent news article by Recode noted that growth in banner ads had shrunk by 3.1 per cent by the end of 2016, and the forecast for the end of 2017 is only looking more grim.
Not that any of this should be a cause for concern. Anyone who had any sense leapt out of the banner ad game a long time ago, swapping out dull, lifeless vertical images for the exciting possibilities represented by creating original native content.
At Seventh Street Media, we do occasionally host banners. Although we never recommend them to our clients as a first thought – they’re usually just token add-ons for clients who still need them to report to bosses (with dated KPIs). So, although we’re doing a lot less, we understand people often move with baby steps.
Part of the reason for the shift away from banners can be pinned on the irresistible rise of mobile phone use. Most people aren’t accessing your site on their desktops anymore – they’re scrolling away on their phones, and if there’s one place a banner ad looks even uglier than usual, it’s on a poorly oriented iPhone screen.