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Christian Leborg
Advertising is the life blood of the digital economy.

Online display advertising

The traditional banner ads on desktop computers no longer work that well, but the use of online display ads as a whole is still growing.

What is online display advertising? All advertising on website interfaces is online display advertising. There is a broad range of formats. The main purpose of online advertising is the same as for any advertising: to deliver general advertisements and brand messages.

Why do companies still buy online ads? The increase in digital ad spending is most notably benefitting social media companies. Facebook has had steady year-on-year growth, and its primary revenue stream is display advertising. The company now has the highest income in terms of total display and mobile display revenue. Facebook did a study to find out if the advertising worked; it showed that, even though, the ads weren't getting many clicks, they were still working brilliantly. Adding online to the media mix has a positive impact on the return on investment for all media. Digital advertising is essential to driving premium perception, and digital channels dominate the path-to-purchase.

How to design online advertising? Understand what drives consumer response, define an overall strategy, make something that is visually appealing, that catches their attention and makes them click. Create a brief message that is action-oriented, that sets expectations, and focuses on how it can help the user rather than telling potential customers what the company does.

“We are all living in the very earliest days of the greatest creative revolution in advertising history” – Joe McCambley

How is display media sold and bought? The product for sale is called “Advertising Inventory”. It is the supply of opportunities to display advertising in a particular medium. Publishers create a constant stream of advertising inventory that they want to sell to advertisers. The advertiser has marketing objectives that are a mix of brand marketing and direct response marketing. The agency creates ads such as animated banners, social media micro-content, or videos – and they also buy the media. The ad network is outsourced sales houses for publishers' inventory. 

Does online advertising work? Given the current amount of data on click-through rates, page traffic and online sales, you would think it’s easy to discern whether or not digital advertising campaigns work. However, people don’t necessarily buy even though they click, people buy stuff, but not necessarily because of an ad. Because advertisers have the numbers, they may not show the essential information. Overall spending on digital advertising speaks for itself: In 2014, growth continued at roughly the same rate (17%) as in 2013. Advertisers don’t spend money on advertising if it doesn’t work.

In the late nineties, our team produced the most banner ads in Norway. Unfortunately, we had few tools to measure the results.

Have you reacted to any good advertising lately?

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg is a visual communicator and branding consultant. He specialises in building brand strategies and brand identities. Christian has worked with several specializations within visual communication as well as teaching and being an author. Christian now works on his third stint as an entrepreneur.