As long as I remember (after failing in my pre-medical entrance exams) I always wanted to work in the advertising industry. My very first ad experience was when I saw a classified ad in a newspaper as televisions were not very common in the 90’s. I thought how a word-to-word description like this might work, but it was one of the most popular cost-effective ways to advertise in the leading dailies. It worked as the consumers/job seekers had fewer choices to access this information & quick precise information was all they needed that time.
Fast-forward to 2010’s, classified has become almost irrelevant. It’s not just applied to classified or other print ads but other mediums too. People loved watching /seeing commercials on TV or in the magazines earlier but when the producers of a TV show or the magazine owner become greedy & push an enormous amount of ads to the audience/readers, they rejected it.
Here’s a video about how the magazine advertising still fails to understand & still doesn’t honour its users by offering the fair-share of content with ads to complement their content-
So what about Digital?
Digital advertising has grown like no other form of advertising before. According to e-marketers, Digital will surpass the TV media spends of US this year (or maybe it has already done it) with an annual potential of $70 Billion+ in 2016 to $113 Billion in 2020. Who would have thought that digital would become a $100 Billion+ thing in this world? But everything that rises has its time to fall sooner or later. Digital growth has been unprecedented in the last decade but it couldn’t shed away the baggage of its own growth.
The inception of the War on Ads-
It was not just the publishers who became greedy, careless or ignorant about their site structure but also the ad solution providers who did not calculate the user experience well enough before placing their codes on the publisher’s site. Ads were rampant & everywhere. From Pop-ups to Gutter skin & slider ads with less context to the content were dominating the digital space till 2010s & little after.
Every idea popped up in the digital arena became the “Next Big Thing”. Pops, Prerolls, Footer, In-image, Native & now Outstream started well & soon created an ad-fatigue to the users. Flash ads were not just slowing down the page but also opened a gate for the hackers which ended up as the “death of Flash “on the web.
*I believe Outstream can redefine the way video ads are shown but a right approach & a right solution partner is a must for that.
Everybody fought back to resist the ad-mania including the content writers, creators, editors, critics, daily show hosts & off course THE USERS. The ads were designed to convey our brand message, our vision or anything which might attract users to connect with our offerings or brand but became annoying thanks to shady creative work & bombardment of ads on the page. Then arrived the ADBLOCK which is now used by more than 100 million users in Key markets (US,UK & Fr) combined. Australia being a premium brand market has lost around $10 billion per year due to the Adblock. Who caused it? Everyone I believe. Users were angry & they got the tool to fight back and a major blow hit the entire Industry.
When Ad-bashing became mainstream-
With the rise of streaming services like Netflix, HBO & Hulu who mostly work on the subscription model, the war on ads became mainstream. TV- series like South park dedicated an entire season bashing ads while British-American late show host John Oliver took a jibe at native advertising. Here are couple of clips from South park & John-Oliver talking about ads-
I find it partially wrong for the people from TV bashing the digital ads without even understanding the scope & need for these ads.
When Buzzfeed & Outbrain revolutionized the content marketing, it was a great start but they too were forced to use poor landing pages to survive in the developing markets. Here is a so-called “native sponsored box”
How to Fight back- Everyone must be aware, especially the publishers & the Adtech partners that ads in their current formats may not survive for long. Any type of intrusion in user experience will lead to more adblockers & a total disconnect of the users with the ads.
*Google is putting the ad-blocker by default in its Chrome browser, which might simply collapse the entire Adtech industry within few years.
XQube’s take on this- We at XQube offers the publishers an opportunity to not just earn maximum fills for their existing inventory backed by our premium demand but also offer non-intrusive ad solution to ensure a balance between Revenue maximization & smooth users experience. Everyone must shun the bad ads & work together to ensure the industry grow with improved user experience on digital media.
*To diversify our portfolio, we are contently looking for product solution provider for Programmatic & video ads.
Advertising will survive for a longtime for sure but if the war on the ads continues like this and the industry fails to adapt or improve, the Industry leaders & users will challenge & change the way Digital ads & its industry works.
Connect with us on kapil.sharma at xqubemedia dot com