Most display creative is crap

Let's tell it as it is.

It is astonishing that as we roll into 2011 we are still facing most of the same limitations that have existed for 10 years in terms of file sizes and the like. And yes, there are companies like


who are helping to bring rich media into an exchange buy, and companies like Say Media (formerly


) who are running


standard units before firing up a full page video unit when initiated by the user, but they are the minority of creative output today.

Media plans are finally evolving with techniques like site and search


that allow us to

talk to the individuals with intent

rather than

shouting at the crowd

, but the creative is not keeping up. We still are forcing the user to click to the destination chosen by the brand or to take no action at all.

That doesn't really strike me as a dialog.

There are some alternatives, but most seem to be in the direction of customization or personalization of the ad to something the user did. A great example is with site


where it has become relatively common to see the ad unit change to show a photo of a product that the same user had just looked at on a retailers website.

Still, where is the choice?

Let's make an effort to have creative that catches up with media planning - let's give the user some choice. Imagine an ad unit where the options were:

  • Click to the campaign landing page
  • Click to the homepage
  • View the brand's Twitter feed
  • View the brand's Facebook page
  • Subscribe to an RSS feed

Now we have created a situation where the consumer has some choice, and the creative becomes a possible dialog with an individual. A short one, but nonetheless it's a dialog.

And along these lines it was interesting to see Radium One talk about placing 'Like' buttons within their creative units, a start in the right direction.

(Image courtesy of




An update on attribution modeling - little has changed in a year

Real or fake? (Or 'Cricket can be fun')