Do you miss the Camel Cigarettes advertising card just below the anchor’s head on the evening news? How about long-form testimonial ads for hair tonic in your newspaper? Mitch Miller-style singalong jingles on the radio?
No? Then don’t wring your hands too much over the latest report from Borrell Associates (previewed by Terry Heaton, and available now from the Borrell site) which essentially begins to carve the headstone for traditional online banner advertising. Banners were great as a transitional medium – something to help advertisers and consumers alike get their heads around the notion of digital advertising – but they’ve never been a good idea in the long run. Endlessly looping enticements to punch a monkey aren’t going to wind up in the Advertising Hall of Fame. Or rather, if they do, they’ll be there in the same ironic sense that reprints of Ronald Reagan hyping Chesterfield Cigarettes are – as a head-shaking reminder of how wrong we went.
But do read the Borrell report when it’s available. And note this: Streaming A/V – AKA video advertising. Borrell projects it to be up, in huge numbers. 37% locally, and 138% nationally. And, given the higher rate such ads command, this is promising news indeed for a business in which print advertising continues to grope around desperately for its fainting-couch. The numbers are still small in comparison, but they’re the ones that are moving quickly in the right direction.
One recommendation to capitalize on this change: hire a video shooter/editor. At The Sun, this hire, which we made in 2007, paid for itself many times over with the production of local, long- and short-form video advertising. Immediately. And, from all indications, this category continues to grow dramatically. Local “newspapers” are best poised to capture this growth in demand for streaming A/V, but only if they can work with their advertisers to turn this pent-up demand into production.
Don’t mourn the passing of banners. Celebrate the arrival of the next wave of smarter, more engaging local and national online advertising. And get out there and sell.