During the final keynote at the 2010 IAB Mixx conference held in NYC Google Executives predicted that by 2011, online display market will be a $50 billion dollar business with half of online ads featuring video, and 75 percent containing some sort of social element.
This morning, I found an article at MediaWeek.com. The article is a discussion on Google’s predictions under a headline that states “Google Sees “Smart and Sexy” Future for Banner Ads.”
That’s great. Those “You’re The Millionth Visitor Click Now To Win” embarrassments to advertising are long overdue for an overhaul. But in reading the MediaWeek article, I realized that people are still making the mistake of believing that technology is the device that will save the Online Display Ad industry.
Nuts to that. I’m sure the Google Execs were speaking only about the delivery device for the creative concept, but creative ideas are needed to make for a smart and sexy future for banner ads, not technology alone. (Cigarettes are a delivery device for tobacco – get it?) Technology will support those great ideas – but technology devoid of an advertising concept is still a lame-ass “Click Now To Win” banner ad. I know the point of what they were saying at IAB was that rich media with the ability to hold more content and imagery – more like a website will make static banners (thank god) a thing of the past. But without a great concept, those same display ad players will still be there with their bad ideas … only now they will be animated and will contain video (the horror).
Great ideas don’t rely on money, production values or file sizes to be great. At least not all the time. One of Canada’s most highly-awarded Creative Directors once told me that one test of a great TV ad concept was to mentally execute it for 25 grand. If the idea held up, then it was a great concept. I get what he was saying. Obviously “Star Wars” needed those special effects to be a great movie. But the story at the heart of the film had a classic damaged father-son relationship, good vs evil structure that might have worked in a parallel universe with cowboys and indians for example. Maybe.
I think display advertising has been populated by zero creativity marketers – and it’s my hope that the new hopped-up banners will provide agency creatives with paradigm-shifting opportunities … or at least the chance to show up the current users of display marketing. Simply put, it’s a category that will be ripe for the taking come creative award show time.