Don't accept the old order. Get rid of it.
Johnny Rotten, Sex Pistols
Since the very first banner ad debuted in 1994, online ads have been designed to be disruptive. Early banner ads were blinking, jumping, screaming distractions that were a necessary evil to subsidize great (and awful) content. It's now 20 years later and obnoxious banners continue to bumble along at the top of our screens. More elegant solutions have added slicker graphics and video footage to capture eyeballs. Meanwhile, high-impact screen takeovers, which just a few years ago were 'the future,’ are now just another irritating distraction that we all can’t wait to bat away. Let's face it: Who wants their screen to collapse into an ad when they’re halfway through a piece of content?
As content and commerce have become ever more intertwined, the Holy Grail for brands is to find a more natural place alongside editorial content – a more seamless flow between the two.
Which is why disruptive online ads are living on borrowed time. IAB has set up a taskforce dedicated to finding more natural ways in which to integrate ads into editorial content with the Native Ad Task Force (full disclosure: Say Media is a member company on the force). While IAB seeks to establish some best practices around this emerging style of custom content, more traditional ads are starting to jump out of their boxes and embed themselves more naturally alongside editorial content. At Say Media we've created a bold bold new ad experience on ReadWrite, one of the most widely read and respected technology sites. It’s the first media brand to ever feature Adaptive Ads, which are responsive brand messages that exist within the flow of content – on any device. You can experience it here (click and scroll down). It's like a full page ad appearing as you flip through a magazine.
In a nutshell, Adaptive Ads are big, beautiful and content-rich. And they're the future.