Four ad execs who ran the first internet ad banner — an AT&T ad that ran on HotWired in 1994 — have all admitted to Digiday that, basically, they now hate it.
This isn’t news, of course. Everyone in the ad business knows web ad banners are the lowest common denominator of web advertising.
Users largely ignore them. The creative space they offer is limited. It’s just that replacing them with something more interesting or effective at scale is easier said than done.
Web ad banners persist because they can run virtually anywhere, across hundreds of millions of web sites and apps.
But it was nice to some straight talk from the people who created Frankenstein’s monster.
G.M. O’Connell, founder of Modem Media, the agency that created the first banners, said:
The fact that it’s migrated from Prodigy to the Internet to the cell phone is a joke. The creativity is disappointing at best. It’s easy for me to say it sucks, but I don’t know what the better thing is.
Go to Digiday to see what Andrew Anker, CEO at HotWired; Joe McCambley, creative director at Modem Media; and Bill Clausen, the client at AT&T, the first banner ad advertiser, all had to say about it.
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