November 8, 2023
August 7, 2020

How Banner Blindness is Forcing Brands to Shift their Display Ad Strategies

Brady Akers
Head of Client Services

In 2019, US advertisers spent more than $60 billion on programmatic display advertising (e-marketer, 2019). However, with fewer than 14% of Web users reporting that they even notice display ads, a whopping $51.6B of their spend was effectively wasted.

While most brand marketers rely on standard display advertising to reach their target customers and measure their marketing campaign success through impressions, click-throughs, and ultimately sales, they are noticing a continuous decrease in return on investment. With tons of new disruptive ad formats and placements, consumers are finding it harder to find the actual content. With customers unconsciously (or consciously) ignoring banner ads and/or using ad blockers, the CTRs for banner ads have taken a huge dip too - from 12% in 1997 to 0.72% in 2016 to 0.35% in 2019 (Hubspot, 2019). In fact, Google's Doubleclick reports overall display ad CTR at 0.05%.

These numbers may confirm what you have feared to be the case for a long time - that if you want to see results in your customer acquisition and retention efforts, you need to look at alternatives to display advertising that yield better results. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should abandon display advertising. One strategy for combating the problem and increasing the value and impact of your display campaigns is to shift from using standard banner ads to a more engaging format.

This is how Spaceback came to develop a solution we call Social Display that combines the user-experience of social media with the reach of traditional display networks like Google Display and Video 360, etc. Since we launched Social Display in 2017, we've run hundreds of campaigns with leading brands such as Instacart, TheRealReal, UGG, and found that the format is significantly more effective than standard display advertising across a range of measures.

Here are three ways Social Display can breathe new life into your display advertising.

Engagement not Interruption

While more than 50% of users say they never click on banner ads (and find them intrusive and disruptive), 43% of consumers follow and engage with a brand’s social media channels (Mobile Marketer, 2018). Taking advantage of this phenomenon, Spaceback’s Social Display solution integrates social media content into standard display placements to provide a novel, more engaging experience for consumers. Since Social Display ads contain social proof (social validation data) that’s updated in real-time, consumers are drawn to interact with the creative the same way they would on the native social platforms - likes, shares, and clicks - giving brands much more than just impressions and clicks.

Improved Visual Treatment

Traditional display advertising gives users several cues that what they're looking at is advertising instead of content, leading them to turn a blind eye to these page elements. Research has shown that one of the most powerful of these cues is the appearance of advertising.

With Spaceback’s Social Display solution, brands can leverage real content from their social media channels to share with Web users. The obvious benefit here in terms of users' visual Web browsing experience is that they're much more inclined to view (and engage) with media placements they consider to be valid content rather than purely promotional banners. Social Display creatives run with Spaceback earned a 7% higher brand lift and 5% higher consideration than traditional display ads.

Spaceback allows advertisers to utilize social content in multiple native social formats for display ads. For example, brands could choose a story format from Instagram, a pin format from Pinterest, or a standard post from Facebook. These could be in the form of static posts, interactive carousels, videos, etc.

Leverage brand recall through retargeting

Retargeting is a great strategy to combat banner blindness as consumers already familiar with - and who presumably have some interest in - your brand is more inclined to view your ads. After all, according to Criteo, remarketing audiences are 70% more likely to convert upon re-engagement.

As Spaceback leverages integrations with leading DSPs like Google Display & Video 360, MediaMath T1, Amobee, Centro Basis, The Trade Desk, etc., Social Display allows advertisers to easily reach and engage these valuable consumers with great social experiences, making it even more likely that they'll view (and take action on) digital advertising.

Moving forward, marketers weary of the costly effects of banner blindness should consider Social Display as a powerful new tool for combating banner blindness and fatigue. With its ability to combine powerful engaging social media experiences with the efficiencies of standard display, Social Display offers a lot of potential for today's advertisers to make their media programs more effective.

Take advantage of Social Display to get the most out of your advertising investments. Learn more from industry experts - contact Spaceback today to get started.

Banner Ads
Banner Blindness
Display Advertising
Media Strategy