Is mobile online advertising on the verge of extinction? And what is in it for promotional products?

28.02.2018 08:33 Uhr PSI
Is mobile online advertising on the verge of extinction? And what is in it for promotional products? | Is mobile online advertising on the verge of extinction? And what is in it for promotional products?

Is mobile online advertising on the verge of extinction? And what is in it for promotional products?

The times where virtually unlimited advertising budgets were pumped into hard-to-control Internet spheres, seem to be gone. A “Coalition for Better Ads”, which power-monger Google is also a member of, now intends to put a stop to annoying digital advertising on mobile screens in particular – for not entirely altruistic reasons. On the other hand, it is a huge opportunity for traditional advertising to get back into this lucrative game again. The more complicated or “high-waste” online advertising is, the stronger the arguments are in favour of promotional products. Let us take a closer look.

It does not take any special evidence to assess the advertising impact of online advertising. Its effectiveness is dwindling due to loss, fraud and advertising reactance. The irritation factor? At its climax! For at least 69% of mobile device users.

Target groups are annoyed and frustrated

This is confirmed once again by a current study ("Ad Reaction: The Art of Integration") examining advertising impact conducted by international marketing and market research company Kantar Millward Brown. The target group’s essential frustration, however, is also revealed by the horrendously high numbers of adblocker downloads. This does not come as a surprise, does it?

We all know that the mixture of uninspiring feelings such as boredom, nuisance and being fed up we experience when the website with our desired information takes ages to download and causes us extra expenses just to be spammed with presumably target-group tailored consumer information. So, downloading an adblocker is like seeing a doctor to cure us from all those evils.

The dilemma of digital advertising heroes

Advertising like this does not necessarily qualify as successful advertising. And this insight is also dawning on more and more online advertisers. Admittedly, it has taken a while, but we cannot ignore it any longer. This is bad news for such advertising heroes as Facebook and Google all the more when global players like Procter & Gamble or Unilever are jumping on the “abstinence bandwagon” and threatening to curtail their online advertising budgets or start slashing them right away.

Advertising customers seek an appropriately themed environment for their ads and they want to rid themselves of the burden of unwanted, poor advertising – so-called bad ads. This highly emotional topic also starts affecting the traditionally disinterested digital groups that are not really close to their customers. After all, they are losing advertising clout.

The “Coalition for Better Ads”

In contrast to this, advertising providers and marketers are more solutions-oriented and therefore spontaneously called the “Coalition for Better Ads” into being in 2017 – a type of great coalition for more customer-friendly advertising. This is where we are now and promotional product consultants and their colleagues can rejoice.

They have always advocated the “better type of advertising”. After all, they have known long before the latest “GWW-Werbeartikelmonitor” issue was published that promotional products are advertisers’ favourite in the communication toolbox.

43% of the companies polled as part of this market research focus on physical promotional tools as their preferred channel in the communication mix – ahead of online advertising (37%) and trade magazines (34%).

The end to particularly bothering online advertising formats

But back to our Coalition for Better Ads. Who is part of it? What does it promise to do? First and foremost, the Coalition for Better Ads is an alliance of companies and associations from the digital economy. Their stated aim: eliminate the particularly bothering online advertising formats identified as “bad ads” by users in surveys before they go online. In other words – block them thereby performing the job of adblockers themselves.

Since Google as one of the key providers of online advertising is a member of the coalition, the browser itself is a key instrument. For that matter the new Chrome Browser with pre-set bad-ad filter was launched in mid-February 2018. The other mobile browsers should follow soon increasing pressure on the online advertising market enormously.

The Better-Ad ban affects 12 advertising formats, in particular (4 for desktop computers, 8 for mobile screens). These include pop-up ads, self-starting advertising videos with sound, prestitial ads (that are displayed full format before the content of the desired website can be seen) and large sticky ads (also known as scroll banners or scroll ads) for both desktop and mobile screens.

Consequences of the bad-ads black list and opportunities for promotional product consultants

The list goes on but covering it here completely is not the point of our article (anyone wishing to drill deeper into this topic should follow the link at the end of the article). To us as promotional product consultants the consequences of this bad-ad black list are important for our customers and their advertising budgets.

So, is (mobile) online advertising on the verge of extinction? No. Is it getting more complicated? Yes – and drastically so! Everything prone to interfere with the so-called user experience will from now on also be “punished from above”. Users have long done this with the help of ad blockers and by adopting avoidance strategies.

High time to re-shuffle relations within the marketing mix

This is exactly what the “Coalition for Better Ads” does and in a very attention-grabbing way. This media storm should also cause strong winds in the smallest of boardrooms – because it will impact the earmarking of advertising budgets.

Precise target-group focus, acceptance and measurable advertising effectiveness are centrestage and here promotional products are second to none as communication tools – on top of their hard-to-beat value for money.

So, it does not take a “silver tongue” to convince marketing decision-makers to make long overdue budget re-allocations. It is high time to re-shuffle relations within the marketing mix. The opportunity for sound arguments to meet with open ears has not been this favourable in a long time!

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