Turning Display Ads into Directional Media

I wrote below that consumer privacy concerns may create problems for publishers, ad networks and advertisers seeking to turn aggressive targeting into greater relevance for display ads just as brand advertisers are starting to shift big dollars online.

However there are interesting potential alternatives to BT for display, which include units such as Linkstorm’s overlays, widgets (e.g., Google Gadget Ads), brand advertising in search results (see also here), and other interactive display units such as Admission‘s dynamic platform.

Here’s an example of the latter’s inventory based display advertising:

Auto banner

Clicking on any of the individual cars opens a window as follows that becomes a lead-gen form (and could contain video):

Lead gen

These sorts of ads can take ride on top of BT; however, more importantly, such units can be effective outside of it. They can be targeted contextually to the content of a site or to a geography or both without relying on any consumer data mining. Consumers interact with the ads and then self-select, turning a display ad into “directional advertising” — the equivalent of the behavior that has made search so effective. (And some of these ad units include a search box as well.)

As mentioned, there are a range of companies offering display advertising with interactive capabilities or elements. But if legislation or regulations are enacted that require tracking notifications and consumer opt-out opportunities, these sorts of alternative strategies to make display ads more effective, by making them highly interactive, are going to be the way that the industry needs to go.

See this related piece I wrote at SEL regarding branding in search results.

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Disclosure: I’m an advisor to Admission Corp.

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