Rich Media Advertising: The Future is Bright
In an encouraging report released today, internet advertising is at an all-time high at $2.3 billion for the first quarter of 2004.
In an encouraging report released today, internet advertising is at an all-time high at $2.3 billion for the first quarter of 2004. This is significant in that it not only breaks all previous records (going back to 1996), but that it portends a positive short term future.
Digging a little deeper, we also find that interactive advertising is making huge leaps and bounds. A recent report from DoubleClick (just about the biggest ad server out there) showed rich media ads jumping from 27.8% of impressions to almost 40%, and a study from Dynamic Logic MarketNorms shows interactive ads doubling performance for advertisers across a variety of metrics, including message association and purchase intent.
This is some very interesting stuff. While static banners continue to morph (leaderboards sized at 728×90 have seen a 900% jump throughout 2003), they are losing ground in terms of sheer clicks. With Google now experimenting with contextual image ads, it is only a matter of time before they begin distributing interactive ads created with technologies like Flash and Java.
I think in the very near future we can expect dynamically generated interactive ads. Sites that have password-required content (ie New York Times) will personalize a series of Flash ads with the subscriber name, then easily swap out on the merchandise depending on what the user is reading. Imagine viewing an article on the new Lord of the Rings movie. An ad from Amazon displays the original JRR Tolkien books with your name inserted directly into the copy — “Mr. Smith, get the complete trilogy today for 25% off list price!” (Not unlike the scene from Minority Report, where Tom Cruise walks through the mall and each ad speaks to him with a personalized message.)
Sites that jump on this technology will do very well indeed — even better than the first adopters of Google’s AdSense.