Digital Advertising – Moving Past The 1-800 Ad Paradigm

  • Posted by Steve Goldberg
  • |
  • May 19, 2010

Speed.  It is something that is inseparable from the digital media world, where fortunes are lost and fortunes are gained.  The industry’s first boom accelerated advertising activity, media job creation, advertising sales opportunities, VC creation, risk, reward.  Our second and certainly permanent foray into the digital Mediasphere presents us with a world that continues to reinvent itself practically on a weekly basis.  Web 2.0… Speed 2.0.

However, speed without foresight can create unintended consequences, in particular in the realm of advertising.  The excitement of being able to measure online ad results and the dominance of search created mostly by Google have reduced most digital advertising to its lowest common denominator.  In the day, that 1-800 direct response advertisement was sliced and diced to fit on the remnant pages of a magazine.  Now, it is as if most of the Internet is comprised of 1-800 ads.

Thus, as advertising dollars are replaced with advertising dimes, publishers’ profitability concerns remain.  The focus in the industry has primarily been on counting clicks, not accountability.  Advertisers want impressions, not time spent on an advertisement.  This has resulted in websites that are focused more on quantity rather than quality.  And last, advertising has been static, not dynamic leading to a lack of the story in the ad.

Some companies are bringing back the quality and changing the paradigm in which advertisers think.  One such company isVideoEgg, the rich media ad network whose metric is CPE (cost per engagement), not CPC (cost per click).  The media and advertising industry has to kick its addiction to clicks and look more at the overall results of an ad campaign.  Strategy must replace tactics when it comes to ad plan creation, requiring a more quality-focused approach over quantity.  And, the advertising units created must be engaging.  Clicks as a metric tell a certain story.  But what story does “time per impression” tell?  A better story, I would say.

Read the article “Hey, New York Times:  You Can Change The Game In Online Advertising” (, where it speaks to a return to quality in advertising.