ad formats

10 signs that programmatic advertising is reaching maturity

If you read the press you’d be forgiven for thinking programmatic advertising is in decline.

But for all the noise about brand safety, viewability, fraud and kickbacks – programmatic is maturing fast. A range of new technologies and initiatives have got many in the industry hopeful that 2018 could be a big year for programmatic.

Survey reveals the most disliked ad formats

In 2004, Neilsen Norman Group (NNG) conducted a survey to determine which ad formats internet users in the U.S. disliked the most.

More than a decade later, it decided to revisit its survey and see what has changed given the considerable changes in the digital advertising ecosystem.

Google PPC ads are becoming more like search results

Last month, with the help of Dr Pete Meyers from Moz, we looked at how PPC ads are changing and what they will look like next year. 

Some of these predictions have already happened, such as the yellow ‘ad’ labels and less obvious background shading. 

One of the themes of that article was Google’s efforts to make ads blend in more on results pages, something Dr Meyers referred to as ‘ads in sheep’s clothing’.  

This is now happening in Google’s UK results, with the top PPC ads on some brand searches resembling results more than ads. 

10 interesting digital marketing statistics we’ve seen this week

This week’s stats roundup is all about shopping, including conversion optimisation, mobile-friendly web design, showrooming and eBay.

There’s also room for some beefy stats on Facebook and Twitter (after Twitter’s IPO) and some interesting detail on web standards and ad complexity.

Feed your brain with this week’s rare and juicy stats – watch that white shirt! And for more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.

Advertisers want new ad units, but aren’t quick to embrace them

For many advertisers, when it comes to ad formats, bigger and bolder is better. And for good reason: many consumers are blind to ads, so to get their attention, ads really have to stand out.

But as much as advertisers say they want new ad units that will stand out, they apparently aren’t impressed with the bigger and bolder units the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) unveiled in 2011.

Native advertising: whatever it is, it shouldn’t be PR

More and more publishers are rushing to embrace native advertising, and for good reason: advertisers are eager to spend money on it.

While there’s debate and discussion around the exact definition of ‘native advertising’, publishers and advertisers are quickly learning that ads integrated into the user experience, often to the point that they’re not immediately distinguishable as ads, come with challenges.

Ad overkill: are news sites putting ad revenues before usability?

Many newspapers are struggling to survive, and you can understand that they would want to maximise online ad revenues, but I think some run the risk of losing users through ad overkill. 

Some news websites, and this in common on regional sites especially, are using some very annoying and intrusive ad formats which could be doing more harm than good. 

I’m not saying they shouldn’t use advertising, but newspapers have to find a balance between reader engagement and maximising ad revenues.

Can new IAB-sanctioned ad formats lure brand dollars?

Incredible as it may seem, it’s been 10 years since the
Interactive Advertising Bureau updated its standard advertising units. Six new formats selected in a “Rising Stars” competition will be officially sanctioned by the IAB if they
gain sufficient market traction in the next six months.

The formats were chosen in large part for their brand-friendly canvases, rich-media functionality, and the control they give to consumers to engage without
leaving the page they are on. Marketplace
success will depend on how many publishers adopt the units to give them true
scale. Whether these units alone can successfully unleash pent-up demand to pull in more brand dollars
and stave off the commoditization of CPM rates is anyone’s guess, but getting the seal of approval from the IAB is an important first hurdle to clear.