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Is display advertising evolving?

04/04/2012

I’m always in two mind about display advertising. Despite the fact that spend continues to grow (18.5% according to the IAB) response rates still seem to be very, very low. Proponents argue that engagement levels are more important and that these are much higher (10% compared to 0.4% for clicks). The IAB’s Future Formats competition saw publishers’ ideas as to what the next generation of display ads might look like.



There’s definitely some interesting ideas here such as the “Premium Display Canvas” and “Shuffle Box”  (both from Yahoo) and Doubleclick’s “Picture Frame”. These ideas offer lots of potential for engagement but what’s the next step for consumers? If you can view a video of a new phone, check out the colour options, features and specs all within the ad, will these ads encourage purchases? And what do these ads mean for brand websites where purchasing isn’t an option? Is display going to make the leap into generating meaningful actions from consumers? Or are we simply going to get better quality (or more annoying if you’re not a fan) distractions?

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