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E-Advertising Retrospective

The Journal du Net and DDB Paris are proposing a superb retrospective on internet marketing. Here is a summary of the important milestones that have marked online marketing over the last 15 years:

Rumor has it that the first banner ad was shown in the United States in 1993, but this campaign remains to be found. The official pioneer would therefore be American Telephone & Telegraph, who, in 1994, launched its first banner ad in what would become a standard format: 468x60 pixels.



Between 1994 and 1995, these banners showed an impressive increase in click rate, going from 10% to 40%. Popular websites quickly took notice of the important commercial opportunity and in 1995; the first ad-space was integrated in the Yahoo! Portal.

Thus, the online marketing sector exploded, weighing in as a $267 million a year industry by 1996 (from $37 million in 1995). However, with the arrival of much more intrusive formats, such as interstitials, in 1997 and the overall trivialization of online marketing, banner ad click rates plummeted to 1%, then to 0.5% in 1998. Online marketing needed to be rethought.

Google, with its launch in 1998, quickly brought forth a new form of internet advertising: sponsored links.  The success of sponsored links has helped shape Google into the industry leader we know today.

With the re-purchase of Broadcast.com by Yahoo!, and the launches of Windows Media Player 6 by Microsoft and QuickTime 4.0 by Apple, 1999 would become the year we see the debut of video. Advertisers immediately wanted to integrate videos into their campaigns, but low-speed connections were a large hurdle to overcome.

The arrival of high-speed internet in 2000 allowed for the development of more complex, media-rich banners.  These innovations were very much anticipated since, despite the advent of skyscraper and rectangular (300x250) ads that year, the click rate dropped to 0.1%.

In 2001, the internet bubble burst, and the revenues from online advertising suffered. On top of this, pop-ups and pop-unders invaded nearly one third of web sites, which hurt internet users’ experiences considerably as well as the reputation of the medium in general.Popupinvasion2003400_3 2002 and 2003 paid dearly for this. In the U.S. alone, the advertising industry announced, for the first time, a 16% decrease in revenues from the previous year.

After a difficult period, the online advertising industry reached a new stage in its life cycle in 2004 with the arrival of intermediaries (registrars, ad servers…). 2005 saw the apparition of a new catalyst: the internet user. Once passive, internet users now have the power to easily control the rise or fall of a brand in a matter of minutes through blogs, message boards or other user generated content. Therefore, brands are being much more prudent, opting for more ethics and transparency and less intrusive communication.

2005 is also the year of high-speed democratization. The creation of YouTube brings with it the explosion of rich media, creativity and viral marketing.

The internet penetration rate surpasses 50% in industrialized countries in 2006, which results in it becoming an essential step in a consumer’s buying process.

In 2007, advertisers utilize a mix of e-marketing strategies: anonymous viral video teasers, mini-sites generally accompanied by contests and banner ads for a second time, all of which is tied together by a Google AdWords campaign. Everything is tracked, measured and analyzed thanks to accurate statistical tools which are used to maximize the return on investment over the course of a campaign.

Optimization leads to personalization and behavioral advertising, which is many advertisers’ dream. Luckily, Holistis was created for that ;)

By IC-Agency | August 20, 2008 | E-Advertising

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