How traditional ad techniques continue to influence the digital landscape

Traditional advertising techniques will continue to be an influential part of the modern digital business model, writes Paps Shaikh, European general manager at Say Media.

Lately, I’ve heard lots of talk in our industry about how digital advertisers are beginning to really take a look back at traditional methods and apply them to their work. Why do I say this? Because the online advertising landscape is so cluttered and crammed with messaging, coming at consumers from all angles. As an industry we are beginning to realise that the good old days of clean cut and simple messaging are sorely longed for.

It’s always struck me as odd that in the digital landscape, we’re constantly striving to make a bunch of pixels grouped on one section of a page get noticed. TV advertisers don’t do this – pop an ad down the left hand side while a viewer is watching a programme – so why in the online landscape has this, until recently always been the norm? Yes, TV watching is a linear experience, and within the flow of content ad breaks are naturally accepted.

Web browsing, by contrast, is more often a non-linear experience – as Internet users we tend to flick constantly between browsers and tabs. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t take some of the principles applied to effective TV advertising and use them to effect on the web page.

Emulating the TV experience online

Where once banner and skyscraper advertising were the norm, these days we see brands becoming smarter in the way that they display their ads online. We’ve seen ourselves at Say Media how effective emulating ‘the TV experience’ online, can be. Back in 2007 we started to explore the concept of full-page online advertising with Facebook. At a time when Facebook didn’t have solid ad revenue streams we partnered with facebook app developers to create ads that expanded to provide a larger canvas and cut through the multitude of ad messages. This is where the seeds of full-page ads as a concept began.

Even now the landscape is changing yet again, with basic full-page ads now making way for even more sophisticated forms of digital promotion. Take a look at this example of editorial content merged seamlessly with ad content, created late last year by the New York Times. Called Snow Fall, the concept received acclaim for its integration of ads with regular content. The online advertising of the future is all about ads that exist in a very natural state next to the content. 

The basic concepts of aesthetics coupled with relevance apply across all mediums – and different mediums can happily take inspiration from one another.

In this regard, it’s print advertising from which the digital landscape increasingly should take its cues. Like flipping the pages of a print magazine, clever ads become a part of the reading experience, adapting to mouse or touch controls to feel native to whichever device they’re experienced on. At Say we have recently developed a concept called Adaptive Ads, an intuitive platform in which ads are designed to appear within the flow of the content.

As digital marketers, we still continue to seek inspiration from all kinds of places. I’ve worked in digital now for 15 years, and I know it can become easy to believe that online marketing is the be all and end all and that all other forms are dying around it. This simply isn’t true – a great 16-sheet poster at the side of the road can still be amazing, if it’s been placed well and has been designed to capture the right audience at the right time. The basic concepts of aesthetics coupled with relevance apply across all mediums – and different mediums can happily take inspiration from one another.

For years we have read about the death of traditional advertising techniques (if you live and breath digital), yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. Traditional techniques have always been, and will continue to be an important and influential part of the modern digital business model.

This article was first published on The Wall Blog

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
ASH runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug
Thetrainline.com backs 'rubbish' mobile app with TV ad
Powerade launches global World Cup campaign
Burberry's flagship Shanghai store facade responds to weather changes
Subway considers taking fast food to fast lane with F1 sponsorship
Ikea splurges 'grey' Belgium with colour
Grim outlook for Tesco boss Philip Clarke ahead of expected profits fall
Thomson to create first crowd-sourced wedding decided by Facebook fans
Currency wars meets origami in Alpari FX trading ad campaign
Amazon rumoured to launch 3D smartphone in September
Facebook to allow European users to store and transfer money on site, claims report
Unilever pilots multi-brand advertising with YouTube beauty channel
Lego, Coca-Cola, Net-a-Porter, Bitcoin and AOL: the digitally creative brands
Dove tries to tell women their beauty is innate through placebo patches
Wonga faces social media storm after forcing Twitter to remove satirical material
Spotify tells the stories of relationships with music
Skype contrasts real stories with 'saccharine' style of Google and Apple
Top 100 UK advertisers: BSkyB increases lead as P&G, BT and Unilever reduce adspend
Viral Review: One Direction perfume 'prankvert' should have been a bigger hit
German beer brand Warsteiner tells drinkers to 'do it right'
SSE signs 10 year deal to sponsor Wembley Arena