A Look at New and Emerging Ad Formats

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By Andy Wiedlin, Chief Revenue Officer, BuzzFeed

Today, as we consider new formats for digital advertising, I’m reminded of the famous Einstein quote on the definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

From the origin of the consumer Internet, banners have been the primary advertising vehicle. They’ve been ignored, maligned and largely ineffective. In a mobile/broadband world, we have virtually unlimited supply and decreasing demand. This is an economic prescription for disaster.

An Einstein companion quote is “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. Social, mobile and video make the world of banners obsolete and dead.
Yet some advertisers and publishers insist on doing the same thing and expect better results. The newest savior is “Big Data”: if we just use more data we’ll get this broken down jalopy to run.

Many advertisers and publishers continue to support the Banner Industrial Complex because of inertia and apathy. “It’s easy”, “there is a marketplace” and “it is standard”. We’ve known for years that the emperor has no clothes, yet we continue to invest in a broken system. It’s as if advertisers and publishers joined hands at the top of the John Hancock building, jumped over the side and, as they plummet toward the inescapable end, they murmur to each other “ok so far…ok so far…”. Continue Reading →