The Death of Banner Ads (And Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty Using Ad Blockers!)

The Death of Banner Ads (And Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty Using Ad Blockers!)

December 31, 2015 - 6 minutes read - Digital Advertising

If you’re in advertising, you probably suffer from a psychic dilemma: you want people to soak up all your marketing materials… and yet, you also want to block bombardment from everyone else’s promotional messages. The desire to block unwanted banner ads is nearly universal these days, so why feel such guilt?

As Fortune Magazine points out: “The idea that readers are somehow morally obligated to look at advertising becomes absurd if we apply it to almost any other medium. Are readers who only look at one or two sections of a newspaper—and never the ads—stealing that content? Are people who use DVRs to fast-forward through the ads on television committing a theft of some kind? Would it be better if publishers sued readers for not looking at ads?”

So yeah, even marketers admit — banner ads are pretty annoying. Yet, they’re also cheap and easy to monitor for effectiveness, so they have a justifiable position in the budget. So is it true what people have been saying since 2012 — that the DEATH of banner ads is imminent, if not a sealed deal??

Yes, Banner Ads Are Dead.

Banner ads are a dying model because they’re not very effective. So cheap or not, why throw good money after a bad model? For evidence of the banner ad’s agonizing death, we point you to Exhibit A, this infographic:

the effectiveness of native advertising

Image Source:

Now consider a few more salient banner ads statistics:

– In the nineties, the click-through-rate for banner ads was 50-90%! Today, the click-through-rate has plummeted down to 0.1%. This means the average website with 1,000 viewers went from making $35 ROI down to five cents!

– In eye-tracking studies, none of the participants fixated on banner ads. The presence of banners is so pervasive, people don’t even notice them anymore, say researchers, who refer to this phenomena as “banner blindness.” Rather, they spent an average of 19 seconds quickly scanning the native content for specific information.

– As of 2015, there were more than 198 million active ad-blocker users.

– 54% of people surveyed said they don’t click on banner ads because they “don’t trust them.”

– 33% of internet users find banner ads completely “intolerable,” which could hurt the reputation of the brands.

What Does Ad Blocking And The Death Of Banner Ads Mean For Advertisers?

Whether you think banners are officially dead or not, it’s hard to deny that advertising is moving on from the old models. We’re challenged to be smarter and market harder, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just as offline prospects no longer hear about companies through TV and billboard ads or get their news from magazines, web users will no longer get their brand information from advertisements planted on the websites they’re browsing. They receive their information from custom content delivered as a juicy news story, engaging video, social media testimonial or relevant blog article — thus blurring the line between paid advertising and organic content.

You Might Also Like: Money Matters: Should You Spend More On Search or Social Advertising?

Marketing experts point to alternate approaches to advertising that deliver more powerful returns:

  • 1. Media-rich engagement ads (like Google Lightbox Ads) — which see 0.44%—267% higher CTRs.


Image Source:

  • 2. Podcasts – which 63% of marketers say have “matched or exceeded” their display ad performance and have been called “the perfect antidote to ad blockers.”
  • 3. Video ads – which see 4-7 x the CTR of banner ads and are just as easy to measure for conversions.
  • 4. Content marketing – which occupies 26% of the average marketer’s budget and is the primary focus of companies that boast the highest ROI, reach and all-around marketing efficiency. In fact, some brands saw exorbitant ROI from their native advertising efforts — as high as 720.53% for BuzzFeed and 2,942% for Fractl!

content marketing vs advertising

Image Source:

  • 5. Promoted posts on social media – which perform as well or better than display ads and have the added benefits of driving word-of-mouth advertising (brand conversations, positive mentions, referrals & re-tweets).


Image Source:

  • 6. User-generated content – which could have a huge impact on one’s bottom line, considering that 6 in 10 survey respondents said their friends’ social media posts influence their purchase decisions.
You Might Also Like: Google Customer Match: 5 Takeaways For Advertisers

Need A New Advertising or Inbound Marketing Strategy?

Contact Mod Girl Marketing if you’re finding it difficult to move your advertising model away from traditional banner ads and to some of these newer strategies, without sacrificing too much of your time and money. Our expert inbound marketing consultants, digital marketing strategists, and content development team provides companies big and small with dramatic results with PPC managementinbound marketing, analytics consulting and quality SEO services. Contact us today!

Next Post
Previous Post
Tags: , ,