What do I mean by better?
Consider for a moment that 1.1 trillion ads were delivered in Q1 of 2011 alone, translating into approximately 1,511 ads per user per month (source: ComScore May 2011). Yet, 43% of people say they ignore or disregard ads online (source: AdweekMedia/Harris Poll, Oct. 2010). Think about it: What is the last online ad you remember seeing? More importantly, why did it standout to you? Was it because it was entertaining or relevant? Or, did it simply demand your attention? As an industry, we're in transition. Millions of dollars are being invested in display through M&A activity. But according to my calculations, about $2.5B of the most recent $3.32B invested is focused entirely on the lower part of the funnel - intent, purchase, loyalty.
There is a very clear disconnect here. Users are ignoring brand messages online while the industry continues to neglect investing in top of the funnel tactics - branding, awareness, reach.
The simple answer is this: To thrive online ads must evolve. To evolve, we must invest more on making innovative, impactful ad formats across the Web's best sites the standard, not the exception. Online ads need to be engaging and entertaining, not easily forgotten or ignored.
Creativity will ultimately thrive online!
Alan Schanzer is Chief Client Officer for Undertone, which delivers display, high-impact and video advertising solutions, www.undertone.com.